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Workers of all countries, unite! 









15 it 

•S; OF TO 



Publisher's Note 7 


(/First International Review (Excerpt). By Karl Marx and Fred- 
erick Engels 13 

j Revolution in China and in Europe. By Karl Marx 15 

j India. By Karl Marx 24 

Sir Charles Wood's East Indian Reforms. By Karl Marx ... 27 

The British Rule in India. By Karl Marx 32 -- ' 

> India. By Karl Marx 40. ^ 

 The East India Company — Its History and Results. By Karl Marx 44^ 

i The Indian Question — Irish Tenant Right. By Karl Marx . . . (£5j 

The Government of India. By Karl Marx 62^ 

The East India Question. By Karl Marx 72 i. 

War in Burma. By Karl Marx 

- India. By Karl Marx 

« The Future Results of the British Rule in India. By Karl Marx 

/Anglo-Persian War. By Karl Marx VI 

, The British Quarrel with China. By Karl Marx 94 

, Parliamentary Debates on the Chinese Hostilities. By Karl Marx 101 

The Coming Election in England. By Karl Marx 108 

i English Ferocity in China. By Karl Marx 113 

, The New English Expedition in China. By Frederick Engels . . 118 

Persia and China. By Frederick Engels 123 

The Revolt in the Indian Army. By Karl Marx 13£l 

^The Revolt in India. By Karl Marx ^M2 \%f 

"fThe Indian Question. By Karl Marx 

The Indian Revolt. By Karl Marx (ffiT) o y 

Investigation of Tortures in India. By Karl Marx 15T 

British Incomes in India. By Karl Marx 157 

The Approaching Indian Loan. By Karl Marx 162 

Details of the Attack on Lucknow. By Frederick Engels . . . 167 

The Annexation of Oudh. By Karl Marx 174 

Lord Canning's Proclamation and Land Tenure in India. By 

Karl Marx 181 

The British Army in India. By Frederick Engels 186 

The British Government and the Slave-Trade. By Karl Marx . 191 

Taxes in India. By Karl Marx 197 

The Indian Bill. By Karl Marx 203 

The Opium Trade. By Karl Marx 208 

The Opium Trade. By Karl Marx 213 

The Anglo-Chinese Treaty. By Karl Marx 218 

Question of the Ionian Islands. By Karl Marx 224 

The New Chinese War (I, II, III, IV). By Karl Marx .... 230 

The British Cotton Trade (Excerpt). By Karl Marx 250 

The British Government and the Fenian Prisoners. By Karl Marx 253 

About the Irish Question. By Frederick Engels 258 

Protection and Free Trade (Excerpt). By Frederick Engels . . 263 


Ireland (Excerpt from Capital, Vol. I, Chapter XXV). By Karl Marx 269 
 Genesis of the Industrial Capitalist (Chapter XXXI of Capital, 

Vol. I). By Karl Marx 288 

Historical Facts About Merchant's Capital (Excerpt from Chap- 
ter XX of Capital, Vol. III). By Karl Marx 303 

Supplement to Capital, Volume III (Excerpt). By Frederick 

Engels 306 


Marx to Engels, June 2, 1853 309 

Engels to Marx, June 6, 1853 310 

Marx to Engels, June 14, 1853 311 

Engels to Marx, May 23, 1856 314 

Marx to Engels, January 14, 1858 317 

Marx to Engels, October 8, 1858 318 

Marx to Engels, November 20, 1865 320 

Engels to Marx, December 1, 1865 321 

Marx to Engels, November 2, 1867 322 

Marx to Engels, November 30, 1867 . (? >*W). 323 

Marx to L. Kugelmann, April 6, 1868 325 

Marx to L. Kugelmann, November 29, 1869 327 

Marx to Engels, December 10, 1869 329 

Engels to Marx, January 19, 1870 331 

Marx to S. Meyer and A. Vogt, April 9, 1870 332 

Marx to N. F. Danielson, February 19, 1881 337 

Engels to E. Bernstein, August 9, 1882 338 

Engels to K. Kautsky, September 12, 1882 340 

Engels to K. Kautsky, September 18, 1883 342 

Engels to A. Bebel, January 18, 1884 343 

Engels to K. Kautsky, February 16, 1884 344 

Engels to N. F. Danielson, September 22, 1892 345 

Engels to K. Kautsky, September 23, 1894 . IKHM ±HW . . 346 

Engels to F. A. Sorge, November 10, 1894 . .CHW 347 

Notes 348 

Name Index 366 


This collection includes works by Karl Marx and Fre- 
derick Engels on the history of colonialism. They contain a 
strictly scientifi c Marxist analysis of the economic causes 
behind the "predatory colonial policy of the capTtallsT " 
"cou ntries , reveal the organic connection between colonial- 
ismand capitalism, and expose the monstrous exploitation 

of the colonial peoples by Great Britain and other capitalist 
countries. Articles devoted to the national-liberation move- 
ment show the historic importance of this movement and 
its prospects. 

The first and biggest part of the collection is devoted 
to articles. Most of these were written in the eighteen-fif- 
ties, when powerful anti-colonial movements developed in 

i n 1853, Marx wrote a serie s of articles on India for 
the pr ogressive American New-York Daily Tribune. In 
them he expo sed "the profound hypocrisy and inherent - 
barbarism of bourgeois civilization," and showed that in 
al_L its stages British policy in India was shaped exclusively 
by the selfish interests of Britain's ruling classes. The ar- 

ti^^'TigJJIJl^ ft™"*™™*"* " f 

India, " and others pr esent a startling picture of oppression 
and ruin imposed upon the Indian people by the colonial-^ 
ists.~"ThereT cannot, however, remain any doubt," Marx 
noted, "but that the misery inflicted by the British on Hin- 

d ustan is of an essentially different and infini tely more in- 
tensive-kind tha.n_alLHinduslan had to suffer before." 

The British bourgeoisie, Marx wrote, "drags individuals 
and peoples through blood and dirt, through misery and de- 
gradation," while being forced itself to sow the seeds of 
capitalist industry in India. But "all the English bourgeoi- 
sie may be forced to do_.3vi]l neither Emancipate nor rna- 
terially mend the social condition of the mass of the peo- 
ple, depending not only on the development of the produc- 
tive powers, but on their appropriation by the people." 
And Marx drew the following conclusion: the liberation 
of India from the British yoke is the only thing that can 
bring about the "regeneration of that great and interesting 

When a national revolt against British rule broke out 
in India in 1857, Marx and Engels, who followed the strug- 
gle of the Indians for their freedom with great attention 
and heartfelt sympathy, came out with a series of articles 
in the New-York Daily Tribune, in which they analysed 
the progress of the uprising, showed its causes, its nation- 
wide scope, and its connection with "a general disaffection 
exhibited against English supremacy on the part of the 
great Asiatic nations." Some of these articles have also 
been included in this collection. 
A large number of articles is devoted to China. 
Beginning with the first Opium War of 1839-42, British 
troops, and those of France and the United States, have 
repeatedly attacked China with the purpose of conquering 
it and turning it into a colony. Marx's articles, "The British 
Quarrel with China," "English Ferocity in China," "The 
Opium Trade," and others, were written in connection with 
the second Opium War started by the British against China 
in 1856. British smugglers engaged in the criminal opium 
trade and "greedy English industrialists" who viewed the 
boundless Chinese market as a source of fabulous profit — it 
was this bracket of the capitalist class in whose interests 
British forces killed, plundered and tormented the peace- 


able Chinese civilian population in 1839-42, 1856-58, and 
1860. Marx and Engels showed in their articles that even 
at that time the Chinese put up a strong resistance against 
the foreign invasion. The war of the Chinese against the 
attacking British, Engels wrote, was "a war pro aris et 
focis, a popular war for the maintenance of Chinese nation- 

The articles contain a profound analysis of the social 
relations and the social system in old China and give an 
evaluation of the Taiping Rebellion, a broad peasant rev- 
olution against the Chinese feudals and foreign invaders 
which broke out in 1850. In his "Revolution in China and 
in Europe" Marx formulates the idea that there is a con- 
nection between the revolutionary movement in Europe 
and the national-liberation movement of the Asian peoples 
— an idea which subsequently formed the foundation for 
V. I. Lenin's teaching on the alliance of the working class 
fighting for socialism in the capitalist countries and the 
working masses of the colonial and semi-colonial East. 

The second part of the collection contains chapters from 
the first and third volumes of Marx's Capital dealing with 

An extract from Chapter 25 of the first volume of Cap- 
ital, treating on Ireland, and a number of works in the 
other parts of the collection show the extent of impoverish- 
ment, hunger and depopulation obtaining in Ireland, that 
first British colony, in consequence of the rule of "civil- 
ized" English landlords and capitalists. 

The third and last part contains passages from letters 
written by Marx and Engels on a wide range of questions 
— timely also in our day — connected with the national- 
liberation movement of the colonial and semi-colonial 

The facts of history have conclusively borne out the 
forecast by Marx, Engels and Lenin that the collapse of 
the colonial system is inevitable. We live at a time when 
the Asian, African and Latin American peoples, who have 

risen in heroic struggle for liberation and independence; 
have already made considerable progress. Something like 
1,500 million people, that is, one-half of the world popu- 
lation, have cast off the chains of colonial slavery and es- 
tablished sovereign states. As pointed out in the new Party 
Programme adopted at the Twenty-Second Congress of 
the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, "the existence 
of the world socialist system and the weakening of im- 
perialism offer the peoples of the newly-free countries the 
prospect of a national renascence, of ending age-long back- 
wardness and poverty, and achieving economic independ- 
ence." The proposal for the complete and final abolition 
of colonialism submitted by N. S. Khrushchov, the head of 
the Soviet Government, to the U. N. General Assembly in 
September 1960, was enthusiastically received by the peo- 

In the contemporary epoch the works of Marx and 
Engels presented in this collection are of special interest. 
They offer an insight into the causes, and help to assess 
the significance and the consequences of the developments 
under way in the world today. 

i The articles from the New-York Daily Tribune are re- 
produced in this collection in accordance with the newspa- 
per texts. The spelling of geographical and proper names 
has in some cases been amended to fit the accepted mod- 
ern spelling. Articles which appeared in the New-York Daily 
Tribune without a heading have been supplied titles by the 
Institute of Marxism-Leninism of the Central Committee 
of the C.P.S.U. In all cases where the New-York Daily Trib- 
une editors inserted their own passages into the text of 
Marx's and Engels's articles, these were deleted since 
they do not belong to the authors. 

At the end of the collection we give editorial notes and 
a Name Index. 


Karl Marx and Frederick En gels 


(Excerpt) i 

In conclusion, another typical oddity from China, brought 
3y Giitzlaff, the well-known German missionary. The slow- 
y but surely increasing over-population in that country had 
ong made local social conditions very oppressive for the 
Dig majority of the nation. Then came the English and 
won free trade for themselves by dint of force in five ports, 
rhousands of British and American ships sailed to China, 
and soon the country was flooded with cheap British and 
American machine-made goods. Chinese industry, repos- 
ing as it did on hand labour, succumbed to the competition 
of the machine. The imperturbable Celestial Empire went 
through a social crisis. The taxes ceased coming in, the 
State was on the brink of bankruptcy, the population was 
pauperized en masse, revolts broke out, the people went 
out of hand, mishandled and killed the Emperor's man- 
darins and the Fohist bonzes. The country is on the 
verge of perdition, and is even threatened by a violent 
revolution. But what is still worse, people have appeared 
among the rebellious plebs who point to the poverty of 
some and the wealth of others, who demand a different 
distribution of property — and even the complete abolition 
of private property. When Herr Giitzlaff returned among 
civilized people and Europeans after an absence of twenty 
years he heard talk of socialism and asked what it was. 
After he was given an explanation he exclaimed with 
alarm: "Is there anywhere that I can escape that perni- 


cious teaching? The very same thing has been preached for 
some time by many people of the mob in China!" 

Chinese socialism may stand in the same relation to 
the European variety as Chinese philosophy stands to the 
HegelianlYet it is a gratifying fact that the bales of calico 
of the English bourgeoisie have in eight years brought the 
oldest and most imperturbable empire on earth to th^ 
threshold of a social upheaval, one that will in any case 
hold most significant consequences for civilization] When 
in their imminent flight across Asia our European reac- 
tionaries will ultimately arrive at the Wall of China, at 
the gates that lead to the stronghold of arch-reaction and 
arch-conservatism, who knows if they will not find there 
the inscription: 


Republique Chinoise, 
Liberie, Egalite, Fraternite. 

London, January 31, 1850 

Published in the 
Neue Rheinische Zeitung, 
Politisch-okonomische Re- 
vue, No. 2, 1850 

Printed according to the text 
of the magazine 
Translated from the German 

Karl Marx 


A most profound yet fantastic speculator on the princi- 
ples which govern the movements of Humanity, 2 was wont 
to extol as one of the ruling secrets of nature, what he 
called the law of the contact of extremes. The homely prov- 
erb that "extremes meet" was, in his view, a grand and 
potent truth in every sphere of life; an axiom with which 
the philosopher could as little dispense as the astronomer 
with the laws of Kepler or the great discovery of Newton. 

Whether the "contact of extremes" be such a universal 
principle or not, a striking illustration of it may be seen 
in the effect the Chinese revolution 3 seems likely to exer- 
cise upon the civilized world.llt may seem a very strange, 
and a very paradoxical assertion that the next uprising of 
the people of Europe, and their next movement for repub- 
lican freedom and economy of government, may depend 
more probably on what is now passing in the Celestial 
Empire, — the very opposite of Europe, — than on any other 
political cause that now exists, — more even than on the 
menaces of Russia and the consequent likelihood of a gen- 
eral European war^But yet it is no paradox, as all may un- 
derstand by attentively considering the circumstances of 
the case. 

Whatever be the social causes, and whatever religious, 
dynastic, or national shape they may assume, that have 
brought about the chronic rebellions subsisting in China 
for about ten years past, and now gathered together in one 


formidable revolution, the occasion of this outbreak has 
unquestionably been afforded by the English cannon forc- 
ing upon China that soporific drug called opium. 4 Before 
the British arms the authority of the Manchu dynasty 5 fell 
to pieces; the superstitious faith in the eternity of the Ce- 
lestial Empire broke down; the barbarous and hermetic 
isolation from the civilized world was infringed; and an 
opening was made for that intercourse which has since 
proceeded so rapidly under the golden attractions of Cali- 
fornia and Australia. At the same time the silver coin of 
the Empire, its lifeblood, began to be drained away to the 
British East Indies. 

Up to 1830, the balance of trade being continually in 
favour of the Chinese, there existed an uninterrupted im- 
portation of silver from India, Britain and the United 
States into China. Since 1833, and especially since 1840, 
the export of silver from China to India has become almost 
exhausting for the Celestial Empire. Hence the strong de- 
crees of the Emperor against the opium trade, responded 
to by still stronger resistance to his measures. Besides this 
immediate economical consequence, the bribery connected 
with opium smuggling has entirely demoralized the Chi- 
nese state officers in the southern provinces. Just as the 
Emperor was wont to be considered the father of all Chi- 
na, so his officers were looked upon as sustaining the pa- 
ternal relation to their respective districts. But this pa- 
triarchal authority, the only moral link embracing the vast 
machinery of the State, has gradually been corroded by the 
corruption of those officers, who have made great gains 
by conniving at opium smuggling. This has occurred prin- 
cipally in the same southern provinces where the rebel- 
lion commenced. It is almost needless to observe that, in 
the same measure in which opium has obtained the sover- 
eignty over the Chinese, the Emperor and his staff of pe- 
dantic mandarins have become dispossessed of their own 
sovereignty. It would seem as though history had first to 


make this whole people drunk before it could rouse them 
out of their hereditary stupidity. 

Though scarcely existing in former times, the import 
of English cottons, and to a small extent of English wool- 
lens, has rapidly risen since 1833, the epoch when the mo- 
nopoly of trade with China was transferred from the 
East India Company to private commerce, and on a much 
greater scale since 1840, the epoch when other nations, 
and especially our own, also obtained a share in the Chi- 
nese trade. This introduction of foreign manufactures has 
had a similar effect on the native industry to that which 
it formerly had on Asia Minor, Persia and India. In China 
the spinners and weavers have suffered greatly under this 
foreign competition, and the community has become un- 
settled in proportion. 

The tribute to be paid to England after the unfortunate 
war of 1840, the great unproductive consumption of opium, 
the drain of the precious metals by this trade, the destruc- 
tive influence of foreign competition on native manufac- 
tures, the demoralized condition of the public administra- 
tion, produced two things: the old taxation became more 
burdensome and harassing, and new taxation was added 
to the old. Thus in a decree of the Emperor,* dated Peking, 
Jan. 5, 1853, we find orders given to the viceroys and 
governors of the southern provinces of Wuchang and Han- 
yang to remit and defer the payment of taxes, and es- 
pecially not in any case to exact more than the regular 
amount; for otherwise, says the decree, "how will the poor 
people be able to bear it?" 

"And thus, perhaps," continues the Emperor, "will my people, in 
a period of general hardship and distress, be exempted from the 
evils of being pursued and worried by the tax-gatherer." 

Such language as this, and such concessions we remem- 
ber to have heard from Austria, the China of Germany, 
in 1848. 

* Hsien Feng. — Ed. 

2 — 12 17 


All these dissolving agencies acting together on the 
finances, the morals, the industry, and political structure 
of China, received their full development under the Eng- 
lish cannon in 1840, which broke down the authority of 
the Emperor, and forced the Celestial Empire into contact 
with the terrestrial world. Complete isolation was the prime 
condition of the preservation of old China. That isola- 
tion having come to a violent end by the medium of Eng- 
land, dissolution must follow as surely as that of any mum- 
my carefully preserved in a hermetically sealed coffin, 

^whenever it is brought into contact with the open air. 

IJSTow, England having brought about the revolution of 
China, the question is how that revolution will in time react 
on England, and through England on Europe. This question 
is not difficult of solution^ 

The attention of our readers has often been called to 
the unparalleled growth of British manufactures since 
1850. Amid the most surprising prosperity, it has not been 
difficult to point out the clear symptoms of an approach- 
ing industrial crisis. Notwithstanding California and Aus- 
tralia, 7 notwithstanding the immense and unprecedented 

v emigration, there must ever^ without any particular acci- 
dent, in due_tmie_ajTiyj^^^ 
the markets isjmable _ to keep pace with the extension _of 

, British m anu factures, an_d __th is disproportion must bring 
ab out a n e w crisis with the same certaint y as it has don e 
IrPthe^ jislLJBut, jfon e ori^-^^atj n^rkets^^eri)^-.})^- 
comes contracted, the arrivaj ^ f thp cri sis is npppc^fiiy. 
a^celeTaTj e^^here^y^jj pwTTh^Chinese rebell ion must, fo r 
the time 'bemg J _ jiave pr ecisely— this g ff ftriTTipCl[lEilgi an ^ 
e necessity for opening new markets, or for extending 
the old ones, was one of the principal causes of the reduc- 
tion of the British tea-duties, as, with an increased importa- 
tion of tea, an increased exportation of manufactures to 
China was expected to take place. Now, the value of the 
annual exports from the United Kingdom to China amount- 
ed, before the repeal in 1833 of the trading monopoly 


possessed by the East India Company, to only £600,000; 
in 1836, it reached the sum of £1,326,388; in 1845, it had 
risen to £2,394,827; in 1852, it amounted to about 
£3,000,000. The quantity of tea imported from China did 
not exceed, in 1793, 16,167,331 lbs.; but in 1845, it amount- 
ed to 50,714,657 lbs.; in 1846, to 57,584,561 lbs.; it is now 
above 60,000,000 lbs. 

The tea crop of the last season v/ill not prove short, as 
shown already by the export lists from Shanghai, of 
2,000,000 lbs. above the preceding year. This excess is to be 
accounted for by two circumstances. On one hand, the state 
of the market at the close of 1851 was much depressed, 
and the large surplus stock left has been thrown into 
the export of 1852. On the other hand, the recent accounts 
of the altered British legislation with regard to imports of 
tea, reaching China, have brought forward all the available 
teas to a ready market, at greatly enhanced prices. But 
with respect to the coming crop, the case stands very dif- 
ferently. This is shown by the following extracts from the 
correspondence of a large tea-firm in London: 

"In Shanghai the terror is extreme. Gold has advanced upward 
of 25 per cent, being eagerly sought for hoarding; silver has so far 
disappeared that none could be obtained to pay the China dues on 
the British vessels requiring port clearance; and in consequence of 
which Mr. Alcock has consented to become responsible to the 
Chinese authorities for the payment of these dues, on receipt of 
East India Company's bills, or other approved securities. The scar- 
city of the precious metals is one of the most unfavourable features, 
when viewed in reference to the immediate future of commerce, as 
this abstraction occurs precisely at that period when their use is 
most needed, to enable the tea and silk buyers to go into the interior 
and effect their purchases, for which a large portion of bullion is paid 
in advance, to enable the producers to carry on their operations. . . . 
At this period of the year it is usual to begin making arrangements for 
the new teas, whereas at present nothing is talked of but the means 

of protecting person and property, all transactions being at a stand 

If the means are not applied to secure the leaves in April and May, the 
early crop, which includes all the finer descriptions, both of black and 
green teas, will be as much lost as unreaped wheat at Christmas." 

2* 19 

Now the means for securing the tea leaves, will cer- 
tainly not be given by the English, American or French 
squadrons stationed in the Chinese seas, but these may 
easily, by their interference, produce such complications, 
as to cut off all transactions between the tea-producing 
interior and the tea-exporting sea ports. Thus, for the 
present crop, a rise in the prices must be expected — spec- 
ulation has already commenced in London — and for the 
crop to come a large deficit is as good as certain. Nor is 
this all. The Chinese, ready _thou gh theyj na y be, as ar e 
ill people in periods o t revolutionary convulsion, to se ll 
olTto tne~foreigner aTTtn e bulky commodities they have 
"orTrTafld will, as the Orient als are us edto do in the appre - 
hension of great changes^ s et to~TTbarding, _ jiot taking 
Inuch in return for their tea and si lk, except ha rd money . 
England has ac cordingly to expect a rise in tne price of 
one of her chief articles of cons umption, a drain of bulliom " 
and a great contraction"^ arTTmportant market for he r 
cotton and woollen goods . Even The Economist, 8 that op- 
timist conjuror of all things menacing the tranquil minds 
of the mercantile community, is compelled to use language 
like this: 

"We must not flatter ourselves with finding as extensive a market 
for our exports to China as hitherto. ... It is more probable that 
our export trade to China should suffer, and that there should be 
a diminished demand for the produce of Manchester and Glasgow." 

It must not be forgotten that the rise in the price of _so 
mdispensablg _an article as tea ^axiA^he_cgx}dX^tig n of so 
importan t a mar ket as C h ma, will c oi ncide with a_ deficient 
narvest 7n_JW estern Europe, and, theref ore, with risin g 
prices ofmeat, corn, and all other agricu ltu ral product 
" Hence contracted markets for" manufactures^ because ev- 
ery rise in the prices of the Tirst necessaries of life is coun- 
terbalanced , at home and abroad, by__ a_ corresponding re : 
duction in the demand for manu factures. From every part 
Britain complaints have been received on the 


backward state of most of the crops. The Economist says 
on this subject: 

"In the South of England not only will there be left much land 
unsown, until too late for a crop of any sort, but much of the sown 
land will prove to be foul, or otherwise in a bad state for corn-grow- 
ing. On the wet or poor soils destined for wheat, signs that mischief 
is going on are apparent. The time for planting mangel-wurzel may 
now be said to have passed away, and very little has been planted, 
while the time for preparing land for the turnip is rapidly going by, 
without any adequate preparation for this important crop having 
been accomplished. . . . Oat-sowing has been much interfered with by 
the snow and rain. Few oats were sown early, and late sown oats 
seldom produce a large crop. ... In many districts losses among the 
breeding flocks have been considerable." 

The price of other farm-produce than corn is from 20 
to 30, and even 50 per cent higher than last year. On the 
Continent, corn has risen comparatively more than in 
England. Rye has risen in Belgium and Holland full 100 
per cent. Wheat and other grains are following suit. 

Under these circumstances, as the greater part of the 
regular commercial circle has already been run through by 
British trade, it may safely be augured that the Ch inese 
revolution will throw th e s park into the overloaded mine 
of the present industrial syste m and cause the exp losion_of 
£h~e long-prepared ge neral crisis, which, spreading abroadV, 
will be close ly followed by p olitical revolutions on the Con- 
t inen t. It would De a curious spectacle, that of China sencU 
ing disorder into the Western World v/hile the Western 
powers, by English, French and American war-steamers, 
. \are conveying "order" to Shanghai, Nanking, and the 
mouths of the Great Canal. Do these order-mongering pow- 
ers, which would attempt to support the wavering Man- 
chu dynasty, forget that the hatred against foreigners and 
their exclusion from the Empire, once the mere result of 
China's geographical and ethnographical situation, have 
become a political system only since the conquest of the 
country by the race of the Manchu Tartars? There can be 
no doubt that the turbulent dissensions among the Euro- 


pean nations who, at the later end of the 17th century, 
rivalled each other in the trade with China, lent a mighty 
aid to the exclusive policy adopted by the Manchus. But 
more than this was done by the fear of the new dynasty, 
lest the foreigners might favour the discontent existing 
among a large proportion of the Chinese during the first 
half century or thereabouts of their subjection to the Tar- 
tars. From these considerations, foreigners were then pro- 
hibited from all communication with the Chinese, except 
through Canton, a town at a great distance from Peking 
and the tea districts, and their commerce restricted to in- 
tercourse with the Hong merchants, licensed by the Gov- 
ernment expressly for the foreign trade, in order to keep the 
rest of its subjects from all connection with the odious stran- 
gers. In any case an interference on the part of the Western 
governments at this time can only serve to render the rev- 
olution more violent, and protract the stagnation of trade. 
At the same time it is to be observed with regard to 
India, that the British Government of that country de- 
T pends for full one-seventh of its revenue on the sale of 
> opium to the Chinese, while a considerable proportjo njof, 
^rVthe Indian demand for British manufactures de^elidsori 
f{£ the production of that opium in Ind ia. The Chinese, it is 
true, are no more likely to renounce the use of opium than 
faf are the Germans to forswear tobacco. But as the new Em- 
peror is understood to be favourable to the culture of the 
poppy and the preparation of opium in China itself, it is 
jyF" evident that a death-blow is vera^ likely to be struck at 
once at the business of opium-raising in India, the Indian 
revenue, and the commercial resources of Hindustan. 
Though this blow would not immediately be felt by the 
interests concerned, it would operate effectually in due 
time, and would com^^_^in^ns^^nd^rolong the_uni- 
yersal financial crisis whose horoscope we have cast above. 
Since the commencement of the 18th century there 
has been no serious revolution in Europe which had not 
been preceded by a commercial and financial crisis . This 


applies no less to the revolution of 1789 than to that of 
1848. It is true, not only that we every day behold more 
threatening symptoms of conflict between the ruling pow- 
ers and their subjects, between the State and society, be- 
tween the various classes; but also the conflict of the exist- 
ing powers among each other gradually reaching that 
height where the sword must be drawn, and the ultima 
ratio of princes be recurred to. In the European capitals, 
every day brings dispatches big with universal war, van- 
ishing under the dispatches of the following day, bear- 
ing the assurance of peace for a week or so. We may be 
sure, nevertheless, that to whatever height the conflict 
between the European powers may rise, however threat- 
ening the aspect of the diplomatic horizon may appear, 
whatever movements may be attempted by some enthu- 
siastic fraction in this or that country, the rage of princes 
and the fury of the people are alike enervated by the breat h 
of prosperity . Neit her wars nor revoluti o ns are likely to 
pull Europe by the ears, unless in consequence of a gen - 
eral commercial and industrial crisis, the signal of which 
- has, as usual, to be given by England, the representative 
of European indu stry in t he market of the world . 

It is unnecessary to dwell on the political consequences" 1 
such a crisis must produce in these times, with the un- 
precedented extension of factories in England, with the 
utter dissolution of her official parties, with the whole 
State machinery of France transformed into one immense 
swindling and stock-jobbing concern, with Austria on the 
eve of bankruptcy, with wrongs everywhere accumulated 
to be revenged by the people, with the conflicting interests 
of the reactionary powers themselves, and with the Rus- 
sian dream of conquest once more revealed to the world. 

Written on May 20, 1853 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 

New-York Daily Tribune, 

No. 3794, June 14, 1853 

Karl Marx 


The Charter of the East India Company expires in 1854. 
Lord John Russell has given notice in the House of Com- 
mons, that the Government will be enabled to state, 
through Sir Charles Wood, their views respecting the fu- 
ture government of India, on the 3d of June. A hint has 
been thrown out in some ministerial papers, in support 
of the already credited public rumour, that the Coalition 10 
have found the means of reducing even this colossal In- 
dian question to almost Lilliputian dimensions. The Ob- 
server^ prepares the mind of the English people to under- 
go a new disenchantment. 

"Much less," we read in that confidential journal of Aberdeen, 
"than is generally supposed will remain to be done in the new organ- 
ization for the government of our Eastern Empire." 

Much less even than is supposed, will have to be done 
by my lords Russell and Aberdeen. 

The leading features of the proposed change appear to 
consist in two very small items. Firstly, the Board of Di- 
rectors 12 will be "refreshed" by some additional members, 
appointed directly by the Crown, and even this new blood 
will be infused "sparingly at first." The cure of the old 
directorial system is thus meant to be applied, so that the 
portion of blood now infused with "great caution" will 
have ample time to come to a standstill before another 
second infusion will be proceeded upon. Secondly, the 
union of Judge and of Exciseman in one and the same per- 


son, will be put an end to, and the judges shall be educat- 
ed men. Does it not seem, on hearing such propositions, 
as if one were transported back into that earliest period 
of the Middle Ages, when the feudal lords began to be 
replaced as judges, by lawyers who were required, at any 
rate, to have a knowledge of reading and writing? 

The "Sir Charles Wood" who, as President of the Board 
of Control, 13 will bring forward this sensible piece of re- 
form, is the same timber who, under the late Whig Ad- 
ministration, displayed such eminent capacities of mind, 
that the Coalition were at a dreadful loss what to do with 
him, till they hit upon the idea of making him over to In- 
dia. Richard the Third offered a kingdom for a horse; — the 
Coalition offers an ass for a kingdom. Indeed, if the present 
official idiocy of an oligarchical government be the ex- 
pression of what England can do now, the time of Eng- 
land's ruling the world must have passed away. 

On former occasions we have seen that the Coalition 
had invariably some fitting reason for postponing every, 
even the smaller measure. Nov/, with respect to India their 
postponing propensities are supported by the public opin- 
ion of two worlds. The people of England and the people 
of India simultaneously demand the postponement of all 
the legislation on Indian affairs, until the voice of the na- 
tives shall have been heard, the necessary materials col- 
lected, the pending inquiries completed. Petitions have al- 
ready reached Downing St., from the three Presidencies, 14 
deprecating precipitate legislation. The Manchester School 
have formed an "Indian Society," 15 which they will put 
immediately into motion, to get up public meetings in the 
metropolis and throughout the country, for the purpose of 
opposing any legislation on the subject for this session. 
Besides, two Parliamentary Committees are now sitting 
with a view to report respecting the state of affairs in the 
Indian Government. But this time the Coalition Ministry is 
inexorable. It will not wait for the publication of any Com- 
mittee's advice. It wants to legislate instantly and directly 


for 150 millions of people, and to legislate for 20 years at 
once. Sir Charles Wood is anxious to establish his claim 
as the modern Manu. Whence, of a sudden, this precipitate 
legislative rush of our "cautious" political valetudinarians? 
They want to renew the old Indian Charter for a pe- 
riod of 20 years. They avail themselves of the eternal pre- 
text of reform. Why? The English oligarchy have a presen- 
timent of the approaching end of their days of glory, and 
they have a very justifiable desire to conclude such a trea- 
ty with English legislation, that even in the case of Eng- 
land's escaping soon from their weak and rapacious hands, 
they shall still retain for themselves and their associates 
the privilege of plundering India for the space of 20 years. 

Written on May 24, 1853 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 3790, June 9, 1853 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 


The last India Bill of 1783 proved fatal to the Coalition 
Cabinet of Mr. Fox and Lord North. The new India Bill of 
1853 is likely to prove fatal for the Coalition Cabinet of 
Mr. Gladstone and Lord John Russell. But if the former 
were thrown overboard, because of their attempt to abol- 
ish the Courts of Directors and of Proprietors, the latter 
are threatened with a similar fate for the opposite reason. 
On June 3, Sir Charles Wood moved for leave to bring in 
a bill to provide for the Government of India. Sir Charles 
commenced by excusing the anomalous length of the speech 
he was about to deliver, by the "magnitude of the sub- 
ject," and "the 150,000,000 of souls he had to deal with." 
For every 30,000,000 of his fellow-subjects, Sir Charles 
could do no less than sacrifice one hour's breath. But why 
this precipitate legislation on that "great subject," while 
you postpone it "for even the most trifling matters?" Be- 
cause the Charter of the East India Company expires on 
the 30th April, 1854. But why not pass a temporary con- 
tinuance bill, reserving to future discussion more perma- 
nent legislation? Because it cannot be expected that we 
shall ever find again "such an opportunity of dealing quietly 
with this vast and important question" — i.e., of burking 
it in a Parliamentary way. Besides, we are fully informed 
on the matter, the Directors of the East India Company ex- 
press the opinion that it is necessary to legislate in the 
course of the present session, and the Governor-General 


of India, Lord Dalhousie, summons the Government by an 
express letter by all means to conclude our legislation at 
once. But the most striking argument wherewith Sir 
Charles justifies his immediate legislation, is that, prepared 
as he may appear to speak of a world of questions, "not 
comprised in the bill he proposed to bring in," 

the "measure which he has to submit is, so far as legislation goes, 
comprised in a very small compass." 

After this introduction Sir Charles delivered himself of 
an apology for the administration of India for the last 
twenty years. "We must look at India with somewhat of an 
Indian eye" — which Indian eye seems to have the partic- 
ular gift of seeing everything bright on the part of Eng- 
land and everything black on the side of India. 

"In India you have a race of people slow of change, bound up 
by religious prejudices and antiquated customs. There are, in fact, 
all obstacles to rapid progress." (Perhaps there is a Whig Coalition 
party in India.) 

"The points," said Sir Charles Wood, "upon which the greatest 
stress has been laid, and which are the heads of the complaints con- 
tained in the petitions presented to the Committee, relate to the ad- 
ministration of justice, the want of public works, and the tenure of 

With regard to the public works, the Government in- 
tends to undertake some of "the greatest magnitude and 
importance." With regard to the tenure of lands, Sir 
Charles proves very successfully that its three existing 
forms — the Zemindari, the Ryotwari, 17 and the Village sys- 
tems — are only so many forms of fiscal exploitation in the 
hands of the Company, none of which could well be made 
general, nor deserved to be made so. An idea of establish- 
ing another form, of an altogether opposite character, does 
not in the least preoccupy the mind of Sir Charles. 

"With regard to the administration of justice," continues he, "the 
complaints relate principally to the inconvenience arising from the 
technicalities of English law, to the alleged incompetency of English 
judges, and to the corruption of the native officers and judges." 


And now, in order to prove the hard labour of provid- 
ing for the administration of justice in India, Sir Charles 
relates that already, as early as 1833, a Law Commission 
was appointed in India. But in what manner did this Com- 
mission act, according to Sir Charles Wood's own testi- 
mony? The first and last result of the labours of that Com- 
mission was a penal code, prepared under the auspices 
of Mr. Macaulay. This code v/as sent to the various local 
authorities in India, which sent it back to Calcutta, from 
which it was sent to England, to be again returned from 
England to India. In India, Mr. Macaulay having been re- 
placed as legislative counsel by Mr. Bethune, the code 
was totally altered, and on this plea the Governor-Gener- 
al,* not being then of opinion "that delay is a source of 
weakness and danger," sent it back to England, and from 
England it was returned to the Governor-General, with 
authority to pass the code in whatever shape he thought 
best. But now, Mr. Bethune having died, the Governor- 
General thought best to submit the code to a third Eng- 
lish lawyer, and to a lawyer who knew nothing about the 
habits and customs of the Hindus, reserving himself the 
right of afterward rejecting a code concocted by wholly 
incompetent authority. Such have been the adventures of 
that yet unborn code. As to the technical absurdities of 
the law in India, Sir Charles takes his stand on the no less 
absurd technicalities of the English law procedure itself; 
but while affirming the perfect incorruptibility of the Eng- 
lish judges in India, he nevertheless is ready to sacrifice 
them by an alteration in the manner of nominating them. 
The general progress of India is demonstrated by a com- 
parison of the present state of Delhi with that under the 
invasion of Kuli Khan. The salt-tax is justified by the ar- 
guments of the most renowned political economists, all of 
whom have advised taxation to be laid on some article 
of first necessity. But Sir Charles does not add what those 

* Dalhousie. — Ed. 


same economists would have said, on finding that in the 
two years from 1849-50, and 1851-52, there had been a de- 
crease in the consumption of salt, of 60,000 tuns, a loss of 
revenue to the amount of £415,000, the total salt revenue 
amounting to £2,000,000. 

The measures proposed by Sir Charles, and "comprised 
in a very small compass," are: 

1. The Court of Directors to consist of eighteen instead 
of twenty-four members, twelve to be elected by the Pro- 
prietors, and six by the Crown. 

2. The revenue of Directors to be raised from £300 to 
£500 a year, the Chairman to receive £1,000. 

3. All the ordinary appointments in the civil service, 
and all the scientific in the military service of India, to 
be thrown open to public competition, leaving to the Di- 
rectors the nomination to the Cadetships in the Cavalry- 

4. The Governor-Generalship to be separated from the 
Governorship of Bengal, and power to be given to the 
Supreme Government to constitute a new Presidency in the 
districts on the Indus. 

5. And lastly, the whole of this measure only to con- 
tinue until the Parliament shall provide otherwise. 

The speech and measure of Sir Charles Wood was sub- 
jected to a very strong and satirical criticism by Mr. Bright, 
whose picture of India ruined by the fiscal exertions of 
the Company and Government did not, of course, receive 
the supplement of India ruined by Manchester and Free 
Trade. As to last night's speech of an old East-Indiaman, 
Sir J. Hogg, Director or ex-Director of the Company, I 
really suspect that I have met with it already in 1701, 
1730, 1743, 1769, 1772, 1781, 1783, 1784, 1793, 1813, etc., 
and am induced, by way of answer to his directorial 
panegyric, to quote merely a few facts from the annual 
Indian accounts published, I believe, under his own super- 


Total Net Revenues of India: 

1849-50 £20,275,831 >> 

1850-51 20,249,932 \ Loss of revenue within 

1851-52 19,927,039 ) three years, £348,792 

Total Charges: 

1849-50 £16,687,382 ^ Increase of expenditure 

1850-51 17,170,707 J- within three years, 

1851-52 17,901,666 ) £1,214,284 


Bengal oscillated in last four years from £3,500,000 to £3,560,000 
North West oscillated in last four years from £4,870,000 to £4,900,000 
Madras oscillated in last four years from £3,640,000 to £3,470,000 
Bombay oscillated in last four years from £2,240,000 to £2,300,000 

Gross Revenue in 1851-52 Expenditure on Public 

Works in 1851-52 

Bengal £10,000,000 £87,800 

Madras 5,000,000 20,000 

Bombay 4,800,000 58,500 

Total £19, 800, 000 £166,300 

Out of £19,800,000 not £168,300 have been expended 
on roads, canals, bridges and other works of public neces- 

Written on June 7, 1853 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 3801, June 22, 1853 

Karl Marx 


London, Friday, June 10, 1853 

Telegraphic dispatches from Vienna announce that the 
pacific solution of the Turkish, Sardinian and Swiss ques- 
tions is regarded there as a certainty. 

Last night the debate on India was continued in the 
House of Commons in the usual dull manner. Mr. Blackett 
charged statements of Sir Charles Wood and Sir J. Hogg 
with bearing the stamp of optimist falsehood. A lot of Min- 
isterial and Directorial advocates rebuked the charge as 
well as they could, and the inevitable Mr. Hume summed 
up by calling on Ministers to withdraw their bill. Debate 

Hindustan is an Italy of Asiatic dimension s, the Hi- 
malayas for the Alps, the Plains of Bengal foTthe Plains 
of Lombardy, the Deccan for the Apennines, and the Isle 
of Ceylon for the Island of Sicily. The same rich variety in 
the products of the soil, and the same dismemberment in 
the political configuration. Just as Italy has, from time to 
time, been compressed by the conqueror's sword into dif- 
ferent national masses, so do we find Hindustan, when not 
under t he pressure of the Mohammedan, or the Mogul, or 
t he~BnTon, disso lved into as many i ndependent and corT * 
flicting States as irnumber ea towns, or even villages. Yet, 
In~"a suiial point uf View, Hindustan is not the Italy, but 
the Ireland of the East . And this strange combination of 
Italy and of Ireland, of a world of voluptuousness and of 
a world of woes, is anticipated in the ancient traditions 
of the religion of Hindustan. That religion is at once a re- 


ligion of sensualist exuberance, and a religion of self- 
torturing asceticism; a religion of the Lingam and of the 
Juggernaut; 18 the religion of the Monk, and of the Baya- 

I share not the opinion of those who believe in a golden 
age of Hindustan, without recurring, however, like Sir 
Charles Wood, for the confirmation of my view, to the 
authority of Kuli Khan.* But take, for example, the times 
of Aurungzeb; or the epoch, when the Mogul appeared in 
the North, and the Portuguese in the South; or the age of 
Mohammedan invasion, and of the Heptarchy in Southern 
India; 19 or, if you will, go still more back to antiquity, take 
the mythological chronology of the Brahmin himself, 20 
who places the commencement of Indian misery in an 
epoch even more remote than the Christian creation of 
the v/orld. 

JThprp r ann ^j ^w^v^r, rrmil' n any doubt b ut that the 
misery inflicted h y f hp rentigh r> n Hindus tan is of an es- 

Rpntinlly dJflferejn^rHin^jj^H^ Jl£ritJJr i LtP s i Vf ', kind than 
all Hindustan had to suffer before. I do not allude to Euro- 
■ppan despotism, planted upon Asiatic Hegpntigm hy thp 
.B ritish East India Company, forming a m nrp mnnstrnns 
combination than any of the divine monsters startlin g us 
in the Temple of Salsette. 21 This is no distinctive feature 
of British colonial rule, but only an imitation of the Dutch, 
and so much so that in order to characterize the working 
of the British East India Company, it is sufficient to/literal- 
ly repeat what Sir Stamford Raffles, the English Governor 
of Java, said of the old Dutch East India Company. 

"The Dutch Company, actuated solely by the spirit of gain, and 
viewing their subjects with less regard or consideration than a West 
India planter formerly viewed a gang upon his estate, because the 
latter had paid the purchase money of human property, which the 
other had not, employed all the existing machinery of despotism 
to squeeze from the people their utmost mite of contribution, the 
last dregs of their labour, and thus aggravated the evils of a capri- 

* See this collection, p. 29. — Ed. 
3 — 12 33 

?ious and semi-barbarous Government, by working it with all the 
)ractised ingenuity of politicians, and all the monopolizing selfish- 
jness of traders." 

All the civil wars, invasions, revolutions, conquests, 
famines, strangely complex, rapid and destructive as the 
successive action in Hindustan may appear, did not go 
deeper than its surface^England has broken down the en- 
UreJIs^n ework of Indian~so>rety J _ ^ithQu^anysyrn^to^ 
of re constitution yet appearing ^rin ^]oss _nf3 1<:! old worl^ 

fwTtH~ no gain of a nev7 oneTimparts l a particular kind of 
melancholy to the present mise ry oFtne Hindu, j md_ s"JT~ 
o^HSTTSTand from ti^wh^lejoj^^ 

There have been in Asia, generally, from immemorial 
times, but three departments of Government: that of Fi- 
nance, or the plunder of the interior; that of War, or the 
plunder of the exterior; and, finally, the department of Pub- 
lic Works. Climate and territorial conditions, especially 
the vast tracts of desert, extending from the Sahara, 
through Arabia, Persia, India and Tartary, to the most 
elevated Asiatic highlands, constituted artificial irrigation 
by canals and waterworks the basis of Oriental agricul- 
ture. As in Egypt and India, inundations are used for fer- 
tilizing the soil of Mesopotamia, Persia, etc.; advantage is 
taken of a high level for feeding irrigative canals. This 
prime necessity of an economical and common use of wa- 
ter, which, in the Occident, drove private enterprise to 
voluntary association, as in Flanders and Italy, necessitat- 
ed, in the Orient where civilization was too low and the 
territorial extent too vast to call into life voluntary asso- 
ciation, the interference of the centralizing power of Gov- 
ernment. Hence an economical function devolved upon all 
Asiatic Governments, the function of providing public 
works. This artificial fertilization of the soil, dependent on 
a Central Government, and immediately decaying with the 
neglect of irrigation and drainage, explains the otherwise 
strange fact that we now find whole territories barren and 


desert that were once brilliantly cultivated, as Palmyra, 
Petra, the ruins in Yemen, and large provinces of Egypt, 
Persia and Hindustan; it also explains how a single war of 
devastation has been able to depopulate a country for 
centuries, and to strip it of all its civilization. 

Now, the British in East India accepted from their 
predecessors the departments of finance and of war, but 
they have neglected entirely that of public works. Hence 
the deterioration of an agriculture which is not capable of 
being conducted on the British principle of free competi- 
tion, of laissez-faire and laissez-aller. 22 But in Asiatic em- 
pires we are quite accustomed to see agriculture deterio- 
rating under one government and reviving again under 
some other government. There the harvests correspond to 
good or bad governments, as they change in Europe with 
good or bad seasons. Thus the oppression and neglect of 
agriculture, bad as it is, could not be looked upon as the 
final blow dealt to Indian society by the British intruder, 
had it not been attended by a circumstance of quite dif- 
ferent importance, a novelty in the annals of the whole 
Asiatic world. /However changing the political aspect of 
India's past must appear, its social condition has remained 
unaltered since its remotest antiquity, until the first 
decennium of the 19th century ./The hand-loom and the 
spinning-wheel, producing their regular myriads of spin- 
ners and weavers, were the pivots of the structure of 
that society. From immemorial times, Europe received the 
admirable textures of Indian labour, sending in return for 
them her precious metals, and furnishing thereby his ma- 
terial to the goldsmith, that indispensable member of In- 
dian society, whose love of finery is so great that even 
the lowest class, those who go about nearly naked, have 
commonly a pair of golden earrings and a gold ornament 
of some kind hung round their necks. Rings on the fingers 
and toes have also been common. Women as well as chil- 
dren frequently wore massive bracelets and anklets of gold 
or silver, and statuettes of divinities in gold and silver 

3* 35 

were met with in the households. It was t h e British in - 
truder who broke up the Indian hand-loo m and destroyed 
" the spinning-wheel. England began with driving the Indian 
cottons from the European market; it then introduced 
twist into Hindustan and in the end inundated the very 
moJ : hej^cojm_trx_j)^^ From 1818 to 

1836 the export of twist from Great Britain to India rose 
in the proportion of 1 to 5,200. In 1824 the export of 
British muslins to India hardly amounted to 1,000,000 
yards, while in 1837 it surpassed 64,000,000 yards. But at 
the same time the population of Dacca decreased from 
150,000 inhabitants to 20,000. This decline of Indian towns 
celebrated for their fabrics was by no means the worst 
consequence. British steam and science uprooted, ov er 
the whole surface of Hindustan, the union between_agri - 
culture and manu f acturing industr y^ 

These two circumstances — the Hindu, on the one hand, 
leaving, like all Oriental peoples, to the Central Govern- 
ment the care of the great public works, the prime condi- 
tion of his agriculture and commerce, dispersed, on the 
other hand, over the surface of the country, and agglomer- 
ated in small centres by the domestic union of agricultural 
and manufacturing pursuits — these two circumstances 
had brought about, since the remotest times, a social sys- 
tem of particular features — the so-called village system, 
which gave to each of these small unions their independ- 
ent organization and distinct life. The peculiar character 
of this system may be judged from the following descrip- 
tion, contained in an old official report of the British 
House of Commons on Indian affairs: 

"A village, geographically considered, is a tract of country com- 
prising some hundred or thousand acres of arable and waste lands; 
politically viewed it resembles a corporation or township. Its proper 
establishment of officers and servants consists of the following de- 
scriptions: The potail, or head inhabitant, who has generally the super- 
intendence of the affairs of the village, settles the disputes of the 
inhabitants, attends to the police, and performs the duty of collect- 
ing the revenue within his village, a duty which his personal influence 


and minute acquaintance with the situation and concerns of the 
people render him the best qualified for this charge. The kurnum 
keeps the accounts of cultivation, and registers everything connected 
with it. The tallier and the totie, the duty of the former of which con- 
sists in gaining information of crimes and offences, and in escorting 
and protecting persons travelling from one village to another; the 
province of the latter appearing to be more immediately confined to 
the village, consisting, among other duties, in guarding the crops 
and assisting in measuring them. The boundaryman, who preserves 
the limits of the village, or gives evidence respecting them in cases 
of dispute. The superintendent o£ tanks and watercourses distributes 
the water for the purposes of agriculture. The Brahmin, who performs 
the village worship. The schoolmaster, who is seen teaching the chil- 
dren in a village to read and write in the sand. The calendar-Brah- 
min, or astrologer, etc. These officers and servants generally con- 
stitute the establishment of a village; but in some parts of the coun- 
try it is of less extent; some of the duties and functions above de- 
scribed being united in the same person; in others it exceeds the 
above-named number of individuals. Under this simple form of mu- 
nicipal government, the inhabitants of the country have lived from 
time immemorial. The boundaries of the villages have been but sel- 
dom altered; and though the villages themselves have been some- 
times injured, and even desolated by war, famine or disease, the same 
name, the same limits, the same interests, and even the same fami- 
lies, have continued for ages. The inhabitants gave themselves no 
trouble about the breaking up and divisions of kingdoms; while the 
village remains entire, they care not to what power it is transferred, 
or to what sovereign it devolves; its internal economy remains un- 
changed. The potail is still the head inhabitant, and still acts as the 
petty judge or magistrate, and collector or rentor of the village." 

These small stereotype f orms of social organism have 
been tb~~the greater pa ffcTissolvecl, and are disap pearing, 
not so much thr ough the brutal interferen ce or the British 
tax-gatherer and the Brit ish soldier, as to the wor king of 
English steanwmd Eng lish tree trade. Those raj mly^com- 
munities were based on dome stic industry, in that pecu- 
liar combination of hand-weaving, hand-spinning arid* 
hand-tilling agriculture which gave them self-supporting' 
pow pr An^Hsli_Jntejfe£ejic^_Jia ying plac e d the sp inn er in 
Lanca/hir p arid th e weaver in Benga l, or sweeping away 
j x>th Hindu spi nner and weaver, dissolved thes e small 
£emi-barbarian. sem i -civilize d co mmunities, by blowing up 


theireconomical .basis, and thus produced the greatest , 
a nd, to spea k the truth , the onl y_soci aZ revolu tion ever 
heard of in Asi a. 

Now, sickening as it must be to human feeling to wit- 
ness those myriads of industrious patriarchal and inof- 
fensive social organizations disorganized and dissolved 
into their units, thrown into a sea of woes, and their indi- 
vidual members losing at the same time their ancient form 
of civilization and their hereditary means of subsistence, 
we must not forget that these idyllic village communities. 
i noffensive though they may appear, had always been th e 
solid J ioii rIclaTic 7 riri2f ~T)^^ that they re- 

strained the human mind within the smallest possible com- 
pass, makin&jL the unresisting tool of _sup erstition, enslav - 
in g it bpnpq t h traditional rules, dep riving it of all gran- 
deur and historical energies. We must not forget the bar- 
barian egotism which, concentrating on some miserable 
patch of land, had quietly witnessed the ruin of empires, 
the perpetration of unspeakable cruelties, the massacre 
of the population of large towns, with no other consi- 
deration bestowed upon them than on natural events, it- 
self the helpless prey of any aggressor who deigned to 
notice it at all. We must not forget that this undignified, 
stagnatory, and vegetative life, that this passive sort o f 
exist ence evoked on the other part, in contradistinction, 
wHd^ jiimless, unb oun ded Torces of destruction, and r en- 
deredlriurder ltsefflTreligious rite in Hindustan^ Ve must 
not forget that these little communities were c ontami- 
nat ed by distinctions o f caste an d by slavery,, that fHey sub- 
jugated man to external circumstances instead of elevat- 
ing man to be the sovereign of circumstances, that they 
tr ansformed a self-developin g social state into never 
" changing naturaTdestiny, and thus brought about a bru- 
talizing worship of nature, exhibiting its degradation in 
the fact that man, the sovereign of nature, fell down on his 
knees in adoration of Hanuman, the monkey, and Sabbala, 
the cow. 


England, it is true, in causing a social revolution in 
Hindustan, was actuated only by the vilest interests, and 
was stupid in her manner of enforcing them. But that is 
not the question. The question is, can mankind fulfil its 
d estiny without a fundamental revolution in the social 
state of\ Asia ? If not, whatever may have been the crimes 
of England she was the unconscious tool of history in 
b ringing about that revolution . 

Then, whatever bitterness the spectacle of the crum- 
bling of an ancient world may have for our personal feel- 
ings, we have the right, in point of history, to exclaim with 

"Sollte diese Qual uns qualen, 
Da sie unsre Lust vermehrt, 
Hat nicht Myriaden Seelen 
Timurs Herrschaft aufgezehrt?"* 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 3804, June 25, 1853 

* "Should this torture then torment us 
Since it brings us greater pleasure? 
Were not through the rule of Timur 
Souls devoured without measure?' 

From Goethe's Westostlicher Diwan. An Suleika. — Ed. 

Karl Marx 


On the 13th inst. Lord Stanley gave notice to the House 
of Commons that on the second reading of the India 
Bill (23d inst.) he would bring in the following resolution: 

"That in the opinion of this House further information is neces- 
sary to enable Parliament to legislate with advantage for the per- 
manent government of India, and that at this late period of the ses- 
sion, it is inexpedient to proceed into a measure, which, while it 
disturbs existing arrangements, cannot be regarded as a final settle- 

But in April, 1854, the Charter of the East India Com- 
pany will expire, and something accordingly must be done 
in one way or the other. The Government wanted to legis- 
late permanently; that is, to renew the Charter for twenty 
years more. The Manchester School wanted to postpone 
all legislation, by prolonging the Charter at the utmost for 
one year. The Government said that permanent legisla- 
tion was necessary for the "best" of India. The Manchester 
men replied that it v/as impossible for want of informa- 
tion. The "best" of India, and the want of information, 
are alike false pretences. The governing oligarchy desired, 
before a Reformed House should meet, to secure at the 
cost of India, their own "best" for tv/enty years to come. 
The Manchester men desired no legislation at all in the 
unreformed Parliament, where their views had no 
chance of success. Now, the Coalition Cabinet, through Sir 


Charles Wood, has, in contradiction to its former state- 
ments, but in conformity with its habitual system of shift- 
ing difficulties, brought in something that looked like leg- 
islation; but it dared not, on the other hand, to propose 
the renewal of the Charter for any definite period, but 
presented a "settlement," which it left to Parliament to 
unsettle whenever that body should determine to do so. 
If the Ministerial propositions were adopted, the East In- 
dia Company would obtain no renewal, but only a suspen- 
sion of life. In all other respects, the Ministerial project 
but apparently alters the Constitution of the Indian Gov- 
ernment, the only serious novelty to be introduced being 
the addition of some new Governors, although a long ex- 
perience has proved that the parts of East India adminis- 
tered by simple Commissioners, go on much better than 
those blessed with the costly luxury of Governors and 
Councils. The Whig invention of alleviating exhausted 
countries by burdening them with new sinecures for the 
paupers of aristocracy, reminds one of the old Russell 
administration, when the Whigs v/ere suddenly struck with 
the state of spiritual destitution, in which the Indians and 
Mohammedans of the East were living, and determined 
upon relieving them by the importation of some new Bish- 
ops, the Tories, in the plenitude of their power, having 
never thought more than one to be necessary. That reso- 
lution having been agreed upon, Sir John Hobhouse, the 
then Whig President of the Board of Control, discovered 
immediately afterwards, that he had a relative admirably 
suited for a Bishopric, who was forthwith appointed to 
one of the new sees. "In cases of this kind," remarks an 
English writer, "where the fit is so exact, it is really hardly 
possible to say, whether the shoe was made for the foot, 
or the foot for the shoe." Thus with regard to the Charles 
Wood's invention, it would be very difficult to say, wheth- 
er the new Governors are made for Indian provinces, or 
Indian provinces for the new Governors. 


Be this as it may, the Coalition Cabinet believed it had 
met all clamours by leaving to Parliament the power of 
altering its proposed act at all times. Unfortunately in 
steps Lord Stanley, the Tory, with his resolution which 
was loudly cheered by the "Radical" Opposition, when it 
was announced. Lord Stanley's resolution is, nevertheless, 
self-contradictory. On one hand, he rejects the Ministe- 
rial proposition, because the House requires more infor- 
mation for permanent legislation. On the other hand, he 
rejects it, because it is no permanent legislation, but alters 
existing arrangements, without pretending to finality. The 
Conservative view is, of course, opposed to the bill, be- 
cause it involves a change of some kind. The Radical 
view is opposed to it, because it involves no real change 
at all. Lord Stanley, in these coalescent times has found 
a formula in which the opposite viev/s are combined to- 
gether against the Ministerial view of the subject. The 
Coalition Ministry affects a virtuous indignation against 
such tactics, and The Chronicle, its organ, exclaims: 

"Viewed as a party move the proposed motion for delay is in a 
high degree factious and discreditable. . . . This motion is brought 
forward solely because some supporters of the Ministry are pledged 
to separate in this particular question from those with whom they 
usually act." 

The anxiety of Ministers seems indeed to be serious. 
The Chronicle of today, again recurring to the subject, 

"The division on Lord Stanley's motion will probably be decisive 
of the fate of the India Bill; it is therefore of the utmost importance 
that those who feel the importance of early legislation, should use 
every exertion to strengthen the Government." 

On the other hand, we read in The Times of today: 

"The fate of the Government India Bill has been more respectively 
delineated. . . . The danger of the Government lies in the entire con- 
forming of Lord Stanley's objections with the conclusions of public 
opinion. Every syllable of this amendment tells with deadly effect 
against the Ministry." 


I shall expose in a subsequent letter the bearing of the 
Indian question on the different parties in Great Britain, 
and the benefit the poor Hindu may reap from this quar- 
relling of the aristocracy, the moneyocracy and the mil- 
locracy about his amelioration. 

Written on June 17, 1853 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 3809, July 1, 1853 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 



London, Friday, June 24, 1853 

The debate on Lord Stanley's motion to postpone legis- 
lation for India, has been deferred until this evening. For 
the first time since 1783 the Indian question has become 
a ministerial one in England. Why is this? 

The true commencement of the East India Company 
cannot be dated from a more remote epoch than the year 
1702, when the different societies, claiming the monopoly 
of the East India trade, united together in one single Com- 
pany. Till then the very existence of the original East 
India Company was repeatedly endangered, once suspended 
for years under the protectorate of Cromwell, and once 
threatened with utter dissolution by Parliamentary inter- 
ference under the reign of William III. It was under the 
ascendancy of that Dutch Prince when the Whigs became 
the farmers of the revenues of the British Empire, when 
the Bank of England sprung into life, when the protec- 
tive system was firmly established in England, and the 
balance of power in Europe was definitively settled, that 
the existence of an East India Company was recognized 
by Parliament. That era of apparent liberty was in reality 
the era of monopolies not created by Royal grants, as in 
the times of Elizabeth and Charles I, but authorized and 
nationalized by the sanction of Parliament. This epoch in 
the history of England bears, in fact, an extreme likeness 


to the epoch of Louis Philippe in France, the old ianded 
aristocracy having been defeated, and the bourgeoisie not 
being able to take its place except under the banner of 
moneyocracy, or the "haute finance." The JEast India Com- 
pany excluded the common people from the commerce 
with India, at the same time that the House of Commons 
excluded them from Parliamentary representation. In this 
as well as in other instances, we find the first decisive 
victory of the bourgeoisie over the feudal aristocracy coin- 
ciding with the most pronounced reaction against the 
people, a phenomenon which has driven more than one 
popular writer, like Cobbett, to look for popular liberty 
rather in the past than in the future. 

The union between the Constitutional Monarchy and 
the monopolizing moneyed interest, between the Company 
of East India and the "glorious" revolution of 1688 2 ' 1 was 
fostered by the same force by which the liberal interests 
and a liberal dynasty have at all times and in all countries 
met an-"" rombined, by the force of corruption, that first 
and last moving power of Constitutional Monarchy, the 
guardian angel of William III and the fatal demon of Louis 
Philippe. So early as 1693, it appeared from Parliamen- 
tary inquiries, that the annual expenditure of the East 
India Company, under the head of "gifts" to men in power, 
which had rarely amounted to above £1,200 before the 
revolution, reached the sum of £90,000. The Duke of Leeds 
was impeached for a bribe of £5,000, and the virtuous King 
himself convicted of having received £10,000. Besides 
these direct briberies, rival Companies were thrown 
out by tempting Government with loans of enormous 
sums at the lowest interest, and by buying off rival 

The pov/er the East India Company had obtained by 
bribing the Government, as did also the Bank of England, 
it was forced to maintain by bribing again, as did the 
Bank of England. At every epoch when its monopoly was 
expiring, it could only effect a renewal of its Charter by 


offering fresh loans and by fresh presents made to the 

The events of the Seven Years' War 25 transformed the 
East India Company from a commercial into a military 
and territorial power. It was then that the foundation 
was laid of the present British Empire in the East. Then 
East India stock rose to £263, and dividends were then 
paid at the rate of 12y 2 per cent. But then there appeared 
a new enemy to the Company, no longer in the shape of 
rival societies, but in the shape of rival ministers and of 
arrival people. It was alleged that the Company's territory 
had been conquered by the aid of British fleets and British 
armies, and that no British subjects could hold territorial 
sovereignties independent of the Crown. The ministers of 
the day and the people of the day claimed their share in 
the "wonderful treasures" imagined to have been won 
by the last conquests. The Company only saved its exist- 
ence by an agreement made in 1767 that it should annual- 
ly pay £400,000 into the National Exchequer. 

But the East India Company, instead of fulfilling its 
agreement, got into financial difficulties, and, instead of 
paying a tribute to the English people, appealed to Parlia- 
ment for pecuniary aid. Serious alterations in the Charter 
were the consequence of this step. The Company's affairs 
failing to improve, notwithstanding their new condition, 
and the English nation having simultaneously lost their 
colonies in North America, the necessity of elsewhere 
regaining some great Colonial Empire became more and 
more universally felt. The illustrious Fox thought the op- 
portune moment had arrived, in 1783, for bringing for- 
ward his famous India bill, which proposed to abolish the 
Courts of Directors and Proprietors, and to vest the whole 
Indian Government in the hands of seven Commissioners 
appointed by Parliament. By the personal influence of the 
imbecile King* over the House of Lords, the bill of Mr. 

George III.— Ed. 


Fox was defeated, and made the instrument of breaking 
down the then Coalition Government of Fox and Lord 
North, and of placing the famous Pitt at the head of the 
Government. Pitt carried in 1784 a bill through both 
Houses, which directed the establishment of the Board of 
Control, consisting of six members of the Privy Council, 
who were 

"to check, superintend and control all acts, operations and con- 
cerns which in any wise related to the civil and military Government, 
or revenues of the territories and possessions of the East India Com- 

On this head, Mill, the historian, says: 

"In passing that law tv/o objects were pursued. To avoid the im- 
putation of what was represented as the heinous object of Mr. Fox's 
bill, it was necessary that the principal part of the power should 
appear to remain in the hand of the Directors. For ministerial ad- 
vantage it was necessary that it should in reality be all taken away. 
Mr. Pitt's bill professed to differ from that of his rival, chiefly in this 
very point, that while the one destroyed the power of the Directors, 
the other left it almost entire. Under the act of Mr. Fox the powers 
of the ministers would have been avowedly held. Under the act of 
Mr. Pitt, they were held in secret and by fraud. The bill of Fox 
transferred the power of the Company to Commissioners appointed 
by Parliament. The bill of Mr. Pitt transferred it to Commissioners 
appointed by the King." 

The years of 1783 and 1784 were thus the first, and till 
now the only years, for the Indian question to become a 
ministerial one. The bill of Mr. Pitt having been carried, 
the Charter of the East Indian Company was renewed, and 
the Indian question set aside for twenty years. But in 
1813 the Anti- Jacobin v/ar, and in 1833 the newly intro- 
duced Reform Bill 20 superseded all other political ques- 

This, then, is the first reason of the Indian question's 
having failed to become a great political question, since 
and before 1784; that before that time the East India Com- 
pany had first to conquer existence and importance; that 
after that time the oligarchy absorbed all of its power 


which it could assume without incurring responsibility; and 
that afterwards the English people in general were at the 
very epochs of the renewal of the Charter, in 1813 and 
in 1833, absorbed by other questions of overbearing in- 

We will now take a different view. The East India Com- 
pany commenced by attempting merely to establish fac- 
tories for their agents, and places of deposit for their 
goods. In order to protect them they erected several forts. 
Although they had, even as early as 1689, conceived the 
establishment of a dominion in India, and of making ter- 
ritorial revenue one of their sources of emolument, yet, 
down to 1744, they had acquired but a few unimportant 
districts around Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta. The war 
which subsequently broke out in the Carnatic had the 
effect of rendering them after various struggles, virtual 
sovereigns of that part of India. Much more considerable 
results arose from the war in Bengal and the victories of 
Clive. These results were the real occupation of Bengal, 
Bihar, and Orissa. At the end of the 18th century, and in 
the first years of the present one, there supervened the 
wars with Tippoo Sahib, and in consequence of them a 
great advance of power, and an immense extension of the 
subsidiary system. 27 In the second decennium of the 19th 
century the first convenient frontier, that of India within 
the desert, had at length been conquered. It was not till 
then that the British Empire in the East reached those 
parts of Asia, which had been, at all times, the seat of 
every great central power in India. But the most vulner- 
able points of the Empire, from which it had been overrun 
as often as old conquerors were expelled by new ones, the 
barriers of the Western frontier, were not in the hands of 
the British. During the period from 1838 to 1849, in the 
Sikh and Afghan wars, British rule subjected to definitive 
possession the ethnographical, political, and military fron- 
tiers of the East Indian continent, by the compulsory an- 
nexation of the Punjab and of Scinde. 28 These were pos- 


sessions indispensable to repulse any invading force issu- 
ing from Central Asia, and indispensable against Russia 
advancing to the frontiers of Persia. During this last de- 
cennium there have been added to the British Indian ter- 
ritory 167,000 square miles, with a population of 8,572,630 
souls. As to the interior, all the native States now became 
surrounded by British possessions, subjected to British 
suzerainete under various forms, and cut off from the sea- 
coast, with the sole exception of Gujarat and Scinde. 
As to its exterior, India was now finished. It is only 
since 1849, that the one great Anglo-Indian Empire has 

Thus the British Government has been fighting, under 
the Company's name, for two centuries, till at last the 
natural limits of India were reached. We understand now, 
why during all this time all parties in England have con- 
nived in silence, even those which had resolved to be- 
come the loudest with their hypocritical peace-cant, after 
the arrondissement of the one Indian Empire should have 
been completed. Firstly, of course, they had to get it, in 
order to subject it afterward to their sharp philanthropy. 
From this view we understand the altered position of the 
Indian question in the present year, 1853, compared with 
all former periods of Charter renewal. 

Again, let us take a different view. We shall still bet- 
ter understand the peculiar crisis in Indian legislation, on 
reviewing the course of British commercial intercourse 
with India through its different phases. 

At the commencement of the East India Company's 
operations, under the reign of Elizabeth, the Company was 
permitted, for the purpose of profitably carrying on its 
trade with India, to export an annual value of £30,000 in 
silver, gold, and foreign coin. This was an infraction 
against all the prejudices of the age, and Thomas Mun was 
forced to lay down in A Discourse of Trade, from England 
unto the East-Indies, the foundation of the "mercantile 
system," admitting that the precious metals were the 

4 — 12 49 

only real wealth a country could possess, but contending 
at the same time that their exportation might be safely 
allowed, provided the balance of payments was in favour 
of the exporting nation. In this sense, he contended that 
the commodities imported from East India were chiefly 
re-exported to other countries, from which a much greater 
quantity of bullion was obtained than had been required 
!to pay for them in India. In the same spirit, Sir Josiah 
Child wrote A Treatise Wherein Is Demonstrated I. That 
the East India Trade Is the Most National of all Foreign 
Trades. By-and-by the partisans of the East India Compa- 
ny grew more audacious, and it may be noticed as a cu- 
riosity, in this strange Indian history, that the Indian mo- 
nopolists were the first preachers of Free Trade in Eng- 

Parliamentary intervention, with regard to the East 
India Company, was again claimed, not by the commercial, 
but by the industrial class, at the latter end of the 17th 
century, and during the greater part of the 18th, when 
the importation of East Indian cotton and silk stuffs was 
declared to ruin the poor British manufacturers, an opin- 
ion put forward in John Pollexfen's England and East- 
India Inconsistent in Their Manufactures, London, 1697, 
a title strangely verified a century and a half later, but in 
a very different sense. Parliament did then interfere. By 
the Act 11 and 12 William III, Cap. 10, it was enacted that 
the wearing of wrought silks and of printed or dyed cali- 
coes from India, Persia and China should be prohibited, 
and a penalty of £200 imposed on all persons having 
or selling the same. Similar laws were enacted under 
George I, II and III, in consequence of the repeated 
lamentations of the afterwards so "enlightened" British 
manufacturers. And thus, during the greater part of the 
18th century, Indian manufactures were generally 
imported into England in order to be sold on the Conti- 
nent, and to remain excluded from the English market 


Besides this Parliamentary interference with East India, 
solicited by the greedy home manufacturer, efforts were 
made at every epoch of the renewal of the Charter, by 
the merchants of London, Liverpool and Bristol, to break 
down the commercial monopoly of the Company, and to 
participate in that commerce, estimated to be a true mine 
of gold. In consequence of these efforts, a provision was 
made in the Act of 1773 prolonging the Company's Char- 
ter till March 1, 1814, by which private British individuals 
were authorized to export from, and the Company's In- 
dian servants permitted to import into, England almost 
all sorts of commodities. But this concession was sur- 
rounded with conditions annihilating its effects, in respect 
to the exports to British India by private merchants. In 
1813 the Company was unable to further withstand the 
pressure of general commerce, and except the monopoly 
of the Chinese trade, the trade to India was opened, un- 
der certain conditions, to private competition. At the 
renewal of the Charter in 1833, these last restrictions 
were at length superseded, the Company forbidden to 
carry on any trade at all — their commercial character 
destroyed, and their privilege of excluding British subjects 
from the Indian territories withdrawn. 

Meanwhile the East Indian trade had undergone very 
serious revolutions, altogether altering the position of the 
different class interests in England with regard to it. Dur- 
ing the whole course of the 18th century the treasures 
'transported from India to England were gained much less 
 by comparatively insignificant commerce, than by the 
direct exploitation of that country, and by the colossal 
^ fortunes there extorted and transmitted to England. After 
the opening of the trade in 1813 the commerce with India 
more than trebled in a very short time._But this was not 
all. The whole character of the trade was changed. Till 
1813 India had been chiefly an exporting country, while 
it now became an importing one; and in such a quick pro- 
gression, that already in 1823 the rate of exchange, which 

4* 51 


had generally been 2/6 per rupee, sunk down to 2/ per 
rupee. India, the great workshop of cotton manufacture 
for the world, since immemorial times, became now inun- 
dated with English twists and cotton stuffs. After its own 
produce had been excluded from England, or only admit- 
ted on the most cruel terms, British manufactures were 
poured into it at a small and merely nominal duty, to the 
ruin.. .of the native cotton fabrics once~~so~celebrated. In 
1780 the value of British produce and manufactures amount- 
ed only to £386,152, the bullion exported during the same 
year to £15,041, the total value of exports during 1780 
being £12,648,616, so that the Indian trade amounted to 
only V32 of the entire foreign trade. In 1850 the total ex- 
ports to India from Great Britain and Ireland were 
£8,024,000, of which cotton goods alone amounted to 
£5,220,000, so that it reached more than V 8 °f tne whole 
export, and more than */ 4 of the foreign cotton trade. But, 
the cotton manufacture also employed now Vs °f tne P°P" 
ulation of Britain, and contributed V12 °f the whole na- 
tional revenue. After each commercial crisis the East 
Indian trade grew of more paramount importance for the 
British cotton manufacturers, and the East Indian Con- 
tinent became actually their best market. At the same rate 
at which the cotton manufactures became of vital interest 
for the whole social frame of Great Britain, East India be- 
came of vital interest for the British cotton manufacture. 
Till then the interests of the moneyocracy which had 
converted India into its landed estates, of the oligarchy 
who had conquered it by their armies, 
locracy who had inundated it with their fabrics, had gone 
hand in hand. But the more the industrial interest became 
dependent on the Indian market, the more it felt the ne- 
cessity of creating fresh productive powers in India, after 
having ruined her native industry. You cannot continue 
to inundate a country with your manufactures, unless 
you enable it to give you some produce in return. The 
industrial interest found that their trade declined instead 



of increasing. For the four years ending with 1846, the 
imports to India from Great Britain were to the amount 
of 261 million rupees; for the four years ending 1850 they 
were only 253 millions, while the exports for the former 
period, 274 millions of rupees, and for the latter period, 
254 millions. They found out that the power of consum- 
ing their goods v/as contracted in India to the lowest pos- 
sible point, that the consumption of their manufactures 
by the British West Indies was of the value of about 14s. 
per head of the population per annum, by Chile, of 9s. 
3d., by Brazil of 6s. 5d., by Cuba of 6s. 2d., by Peru of 5s. 
7d., by Central America of 10d., while it amounted in In- 
dia only to about 9d. Then came the short cotton crop in 
the United States, which caused them a loss of £11,000,000 
in 1850, and they were exasperated at depending on Amer- 
ica, instead of deriving a sufficiency of raw cotton from 
the East Indies. Besides, they found that in all attempts f 
to apply capital to India they met with impediments and 
chicanery on the part of the Indian authorities. Thus India 
became the battle-field in the contest of the industrial in- [ 
terest on the one side, and of the moneyocracy and oli- 
garchy on the other. The manufacturers, conscious of their 
ascendency in England, ask now for the annihilation of 
these antagonistic powers in India, for the destruction of 
the whole ancient fabric of Indian Government, and for 
the final eclipse of the East India Company. 

And now to the fourth and last point of view, from 
which the Indian question must be judged. Since 1784 
Indian finances have got more and more deeply into dif- 
ficulty. There exists now a national debt of 50 million 
pounds, a continual decrease in the resources of the reve- 
nue, and a corresponding increase in the expenditure, 
dubiously balanced by the gambling income of the opium 
tax, now threatened with extinction by the Chinese be- 
ginning themselves to cultivate the poppy, and aggravat- 


ed by the expenses to be anticipated from the senseless 
Burmese war. 29 

"As the case stands," says Mr. Dickinson, "as it would ruin Eng- 
land to lose her Empire in India, it is stretching our own finances 
with ruin, to be obliged to keep it." 

I have shown thus, how the Indian question has become 
for the first time since 1783, an English question, and a 
ministerial question. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 3816, July 11, 1853 

Karl Marx 


London, June 28, 1853 

The debate on Lord Stanley's motion with respect to 
India commenced on the 23d, continued on the 24th, and 
adjourned to the 27th inst., has not been brought to a 
close. When that shall at length have arrived, I intend to 
resume my observations on the Indian question. 

As the Coalition Ministry depends on the support of 
the Irish party, and as all the other parties composing the 
House of Commons so nicely balance each other that the 
Irish may at any moment turn the scales v/hich way they 
please, some concessions are at last about to be made to 
the Irish tenants. The "Leasing powers (Ireland) Bill," 
which passed the House of Commons on Friday last, con- 
tains a provision that for the improvements made on the 
soil and separable from the soil, the tenant shall have at 
the termination of his lease, a compensation in money, the 
incoming tenant being at liberty to take them at the val- 
uation, while with respect to improvements in the soil, 
compensation for them shall be arranged by contract be- 
tween the landlord and the tenant. 

A tenant having incorporated his capital, in one form 
or another, in the land, and having thus effected an im- 
provement of the soil, either directly by irrigation, drain- 
age, manure, or indirectly by construction of buildings 
for agricultural purposes, in steps the landlord with de- 
mand for increased rent. If the tenant concedes, he has to 


pay the interest for his own money to the landlord. If he 
resists, he will be very unceremoniously ejected, and sup- 
planted by a new tenant, the latter being enabled to pay 
a higher rent by the very expenses incurred by his pre- 
decessors, until he also, in his turn, has become an improv- 
er of the land, and is replaced in the same way, or put on 
worse terms. In this easy way a class of absentee land- 
lords has been enabled to pocket, not merely the labour, 
but also the capital, of whole generations, each genera- 
tion of Irish peasants sinking a grade lower in the social 
scale, exactly in proportion to the exertions and sacrifices 
made for the raising of their condition and that of their 
families. If the tenant was industrious and enterprising, 
he became taxed in consequence of his very industry and 
enterprise. If, on the contrary, he grew inert and negligent, 
he was reproached with the "aboriginal faults of the Celt- 
ic race." He had, accordingly, no other alternative left 
but to become a pauper — to pauperize himself by indus- 
try, or to pauperize by negligence. In order to oppose this 
state of things, "Tenant Right" was proclaimed in Ire- 
land — a right of the tenant, not in the soil but in the 
improvements of the soil effected at his cost and 
charges. Let us see in what manner The Times, in its 
Saturday's leader, attempts to break down this Irish 
"Tenant Right": 

"There are two general systems of farm occupation. Either a ten- 
ant may take a lease of the land for a fixed number of years, or 
his holding may be terminable at any time upon certain notice. In 
the first of these events, it would be obviously his course to adjust 
and apportion his outlay so that all, or nearly all, the benefit would 
find its way to him before the expiration of his term. In the second 
case it seems equally obvious that he should not run the risk of the 
investment without a proper assurance of return." 

Where the landlords have to deal with a class of large 
capitalists who may, as they please, invest their stock in 
commerce, in manufactures or in farming, there can be 
no doubt but that these capitalist farmers, whether they 


take long leases or no time leases at all, know how to 
secure the "proper" return of their outlays. But v/ith re- 
gard to Ireland the supposition is quite fictitious. On the / 
one side you have there a small class of land monopolists, 
on the other, a very large class of tenants with very petty 
fortunes, which they have no chance to invest in different 
ways, no other field of production opening to them, ex- 
cept the soil. They are, therefore, forced to become ten- 
ants at will. Being once tenants at will, they naturally run 
the risk of losing their revenue, provided they do not in- 
vest their small capital. Investing it, in order to secure 
their revenue, they run the risk of losing their capital, 

"Perhaps," continues The Times, "it may be said, that in any 
case a tenantry could hardly expire without something being left 
upon the ground, in some shape or another, representing the tenant's 
own property, and that for this compensation should be forthcom- 
ing. There is some truth in the remark, but the demand thus creat- 
ed ought, under proper conditions of society, to be easily adjusted 
between landlord and tenant, as it might, at any rate, be provided 
for in the original contract. We say that the conditions of society 
should regulate these arrangements, because we believe that no 
Parliamentary enactment can be effectually substituted for such an 

Indeed, under "proper conditions of society," we should 
want no more Parliamentary interference with the Irish 
land-tenant, as we should not want, under "proper con- 
ditions of society," the interference of the soldier, of the 
policeman, and of the hangman. Legislature, magistracy, 
and armed force, are all of them but the offspring of im- 
proper conditions of society, preventing those arrange- 
ments among men which would make useless the compul- 
sory intervention of a third supreme pov/er. Has, perhaps, 
The Times been converted into a social revolutionist? Does 
it want a social revolution, reorganizing the "conditions of 
society," and the "arrangements" emanating from them, 
instead of "Parliamentary enactments"? England has sub- 
verted the conditions of Irish society. At first it confis- 


cated the land, then it suppressed the industry by "Par- 
liamentary enactments," and lastly, it broke the active 
energy by armed force. And thus England created those 
abominable "conditions of society" which enable a small 
caste of rapacious lordlings to dictate to the Irish people 
the terms on which they shall be allowed to hold the land 
and to live upon it. Too weak yet for revolutionizing those 
"social conditions," the people appeal to Parliament, de- 
manding at least their mitigation and regulation. But "No," 
says The Times; if you don't live under proper conditions 
of society, Parliament can't mend that. And if the Irish 
people, on the advice of The Times, tried tomorrow to 
mend their conditions of society, The Times would be the 
first to appeal to bayonets, and to pour out sanguinary 
denunciations of the "aboriginal faults of the Celtic race," 
wanting the Anglo-Saxon taste for pacific progress and 
legal amelioration. 

"If a landlord," says The Times, "deliberately injures one tenant, 
he will find it so much the harder to get another, and whereas his 
occupation consists in letting land, he will find his land all the 
more difficult to let." 

The case stands rather differently in Ireland. The more 
a landlord injures one tenant, the easier he will find it to 
oppress another. The tenant who comes in, is the means 
of injuring the ejected one, and the ejected one is the 
means of keeping down the new occupant. That, in due 
course of time, the landlord, beside injuring the tenant, 
will injure himself and ruin himself, is not only a proba- 
bility, but the very fact, in Ireland — a fact affording, how- 
ever, a very precarious source of comfort to the ruined 

"The relations between the landlord and tenant are those between 
two traders," says The Times. 

This is precisely the petitio principii which pervades the 
whole leader of The Times. The needy Irish tenant belongs 
to the soil, while the soil belongs to the English lord. As 


well you might call the relation between the robber who 
presents his pistol, and the traveller who presents his 
purse, a relation between two traders. 

"But," says The Times, "in point of fact, the relation between 
Irish landlords and tenants will soon be reformed by an agency more 
potent than that of legislation. The property of Ireland is fast pass- 
ing into new hands, and, if the present rate of emigration con- 
tinues, its cultivation must undergo the same transfer." 

Here, at least, The Times has the truth. British Parlia- 
ment does not interfere at a moment when the worked out 
old system is terminating in the common ruin, both of 
the thrifty landlord and the needy tenant, the former being 
knocked down by the hammer of the Encumbered Estates 
Commission, and the latter expelled by compulsory emi- 
gration. This reminds us of the old Sultan of Morocco. 
Whenever there was a case pending between two parties, 
he knew of no more "potent agency" for settling their 
controversy, than by killing both parties. 


"Nothing could tend," concludes The Times with regard to Tenant 
Right, "to greater confusion than such a communistic distribution 
of ownership. The only person with any right in the land, is the land- 

The Times seems to have been the sleeping Epimenides 
of the past half century, and never to have heard of the 
hot controversy going on during all that time upon the 
claims of the landlord, not among social reformers and 
Communists, but among the very political economists of 
the British middle class. Ricardo, the creator of modern 
political economy in Great Britain, did not controvert the 
"right" of the landlords, as he was quite convinced that 
their claims were based upon fact, and not on right, and 
that political economy in general had nothing to do with 
questions of right; but he attacked the land-monopoly in 
a more unassuming, yet more scientific, and therefore 
more dangerous manner. He proved that private proprietor- 
ship in land, as distinguished from the respective claims 


of the labourer, and of the farmer, was a relation quite 
superfluous in, and incoherent with the whole framework 
of modern production; that the economical expression of 
that relationship and the rent of land, might, with great 
advantage, be appropriated by the State; and finally that 
the interest of the landlord was opposed to the interest i 
of all other classes of modern society. It would be tedious 
to enumerate all the conclusions drawn from these pre- 
mises by the Ricardo School against the landed monop- 
oly. For my end, it will suffice to quote three of the most 
recent economical authorities of Great Britain. 

The London Economist, whose chief editor, Mr. J. Wil- 
son, is not only a Free Trade oracle, but a Whig one, too, 
and not only a Whig, but also an inevitable Treasury-ap- 
pendage in every Whig or composite ministry, has con- 
tended in different articles that exactly speaking, there 
can exist no title authorizing any individual, or any num- 
ber of individuals, to claim the exclusive proprietorship 
in the soil of a nation. 

Mr. Newman, in his "Lectures on Political Economy," 
London, 1851, professedly written for the purpose of j 
refuting socialism, tells us: 

"No man has, or can have, a natural right to land, except so 
long as he occupies it in person. His right is to the use, and to the ! 
use only. All other right is the creation of artificial law" (or Parlia- \ 
mentary enactments as The Times would call it). . . . "If, at any time, 
land becomes needed to live upon, the right of private possessors j 
to withhold it comes to an end." 

This is exactly the case in Ireland, and Mr. Newman 
expressly confirms the claims of the Irish tenantry, and 
in lectures held before the most select audiences of the 
British aristocracy. 

In conclusion let me quote some passages from Mr. 
Herbert Spencer's work, "Social Statics," London, 1851, 
also, purporting to be a complete refutation of commun- 
ism, and acknowledged as the most elaborate develop- 
ment of the Free Trade doctrines 30 of modern England. 


"No one may use the earth in such a way as to prevent the rest 
from similarly using it. Equity, therefore, does not permit property 
in land, or the rest would live on the earth by sufferance only. The 
landless men might equitably be expelled from the earth altogether. . . . 
It can never be pretended, that the existing titles to such property 
are legitimate. Should any one think so let him look in the Chroni- 
cles. The original deeds were written with the sword, rather than 
with the pen. Not lawyers but soldiers were the conveyancers: blows 
were the current coin given in payment; and for seals blood was 
used in preference to wax. Could valid claims be thus constituted? 
Hardly. And if not, what becomes of the pretensions of all subse- 
quent holders of estates so obtained? Does sale or bequest generate 
a right where it did not previously exist?. . . If one act of transfer 
can give no title, can many?. . . At what rate per annum do invalid 
claims become valid?. . . The right of mankind at large to the earth's 
surface is still valid, all deeds, customs and laws notwithstanding. 
It is impossible to discover any mode in which land can become pri- 
vate property. . . . We daily deny landlordism by our legislation. Is 
a canal, a railway, or a turnpike road to be made? We do not scruple 
to seize just as many acres as may be requisite. We do not wait 
for consent. . . . The change required would simply be a change of 
landlords. . . . Instead of being in the possession of individuals, the 
country would be held by the great corporate body— society. Instead 
of leasing his acres from an isolated proprietor, the former would 
lease them from the nation. Instead of paying his rent to the agent 
of Sir John, or His Grace, he will pay to an agent, or deputy-agent 
of the community. Stewards would be public officials instead of pri- 
vate ones, and tenantry the only land tenure. . . . Pushed to its ulti- 
mate consequences, a claim to exclusive possession of the soil in- 
volves land-owning despotism." 

Thus, from the very point of view of modern English 
political economists, it is not the usurping English land- 
lord, but the Irish tenants and labourers, who have the 
only right in the soil of their native country, and The 
Times, in opposing the demands of the Irish people, places 
itself into direct antagonism to British middle-class science. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 3816, 11, 1853 

Karl Marx 


The House of Commons, in order to do justice to the 
colossal dimensions of the subject, has been spinning out 
its Indian debate to an unusual length and breadth, although 
that debate has failed altogether in depth and great- 
ness of interest. The division leaving Ministers a majority 
of 322 against 142, is in inverse ratio to the discussion. 
During the discussion all was thistles for the Ministry, 
and Sir Charles Wood was the ass officially put to the task 
of feeding upon them. In the division all is roses, and Sir 
Charles Wood receives the crown of another Manu. The 
same men who negatived the plan of the Ministry by their 
arguments, affirmed it by their votes. None of its support- 
ers dared to apologize for the bill itself; on the contrary, 
all apologized for their supporting the bill, the ones be- 
cause it was an infinitesimal part of a measure in the right 
direction, the others because it was no measure at all. 
The former pretend that they will now mend it in Com- 
mittee; the latter say that they will strip it of all the fancy 
Reform flowers it parades in. 

The Ministry maintained the field by more than one half 
of the Tory opposition running away, and a great portion 
of the remainder deserting with Herries and Inglis into 
the Aberdeen camp, while of the 142 opposite votes 100 
belonged to the Disraeli fraction, and 42 to the Manchester 
School, backed by some Irish discontents and some inex- 


pressibles. The opposition within the opposition has once 
more saved the Ministry. 

Mr. Halliday, one of the officials of the East India Com- 
pany, when examined before a Committee of Inquiry, 

"That the Charter giving a twenty years' lease to the East India 
Company was considered by the natives of India as farming them 

This time at least, the Charter has not been renewed 
for a definite period, but is revocable at will by Parlia- 
ment. The Company, therefore, will come down from the 
respectable situation of hereditary farmers, to the preca- 
rious condition of tenants at will. This is so much gain 
for the natives. The Coalition Ministry has succeeded in 
transforming the Indian Government, like all other ques- 
tions, into an open question. The House of Commons, on 
the other hand, has given itself a new testimonial of pov- 
erty, in confessing by the same division, its impotency 
for legislating, and its unwillingness to delay legislating. 

Since the days of Aristotle the world has been inundat- 
ed with a frightful quantity of dissertations, ingenious or 
absurd, as it might happen, on that question: Who shall 
be the governing power? But for the first time in the 
annals of history, the Senate of a people ruling over an- 
other people numbering 156 millions of human beings and 
spreading over a surface of 1,368,113 square miles, have 
put their heads together in solemn and public congrega- 
tion, in order to answer the irregular question: Who 
among us is the actual governing power over that foreign 
people of 150 millions of souls? There was no Edipus in 
the British Senate capable of extricating this riddle. The 
whole debate exclusively twined around it, as although a 
division took place, no definition of the Indian Govern- 
ment was arrived at. 

That there is in India a permanent financial deficit, a 
regular over-supply of wars, and no supply at all of pub- 


lie works, an abominable system of taxation, and a no less 
abominable state of justice and law, that these five items 
constitute, as it were, the five points of the East Indian 
Charter, was settled beyond all doubt in the debates of 
1853, as it had been in the debates of 1833, and in the 
debates of 1813, as in all former debates on India. The 
only thing never found out, was the party responsible for 
all this. 

There exists, unquestionably, a Governor-G eneral of 
India, holding the supreme power, but that Governor is 
governed in his turn by a home government. Who is that 
home go vernment? Is it the Indian M inister, disguised 
under the modest title of President ofthe Board of Con- 
trol, or is it the twen ty-four Directors of the East India 
Company? On the threshold of the Indian religion we find 
a divine trinity, and thus we find a profane trinity on the 
threshold of the Indian Government. 

Leaving, for a while, the Governor-General altogether 
one side, the question at issue resolves itself into that of 
the double government, in which form it is familiar to the 
English mind. The Ministers in their bill, and the House 
in its division, cling to this dualism. 

When the Company of English merchant adventurers, 
who conquered India to make money out of it, began to 
enlarge their factories into an empire, when their com- 
petition with the Dutch and French private merchants as- 
sumed the character of national rivalry, then, of course, 
the British Government commenced meddling with the 
affairs of the East India Company, and the double govern- 
ment of India sprung up in fact if not in name. Pitt's act 
of 1784, by entering into a compromise with the Company, 
by subjecting it to the superintendence of the Board of 
Control, and by making the Board of Control an ap- 
pendage to the Ministry, accepted, regulated and settled 
that double government arisen from circumstances in 
name as well as in fact. 


The act of 1833 strengthened the Board of Control, 
changed the proprietors of the East India Company into 
mere mortgages of the East India revenues, ordered the 
Company to sell off its stock, dissolved its commercial 
existence, transformed it; as far as it existed politically, 
into a mere trustee of the Crown, and did thus with the 
East India Company, what the Company had been in the 
habit of doing with the East Indian Princes. After having 
superseded them, it continued, for a while, still to govern 
in their name. So far, the East India Company has, since 
1333, no longer existed but in name and on sufferance. 
While thus on one hand, there seems to be no difficulty 
in getting rid of the Company altogether, it is, on the other 
hand, very indifferent whether the English nation rules 
over India under the personal name of Queen Victoria, 
or under the traditional firm of an anonymous society. The 
whole question, therefore, appears to turn about a techni- 
cality of very questionable importance. Still, the thing is 
not quite so plain. 

It is to be remarked, in the first instance, that the Min- 
isterial Board of Control, residing in Cannon Row, is as 
much a fiction as the East India Company, supposed to 
reside in Leadenhall St. The members composing the 
Board of Control are a mere cloak for the supreme rule 
of the President of the Board. The President is himself 
but a subordinate though independent member of the 
Imperial Ministry. In India it seems to be assumed that 
if a man is fit for nothing it is best to make him a judge, 
and get rid of him. In Great Britain, when a party comes 
into office and finds itself encumbered with a tenth-rate 
"statesman," it is considered best to make him President 
of the Board of Control, successor of the Great Mogul, and 
in that way to get rid of him — teste Carolo Wood. 

The letter of the law entrusts the Board of Control, 
which is but another name for its President, with 

5 — 12 65 

"full power and authority to superintend, direct, and control all 
acts, operations and concerns of the East India Company which in 
any wise relate to or concern the Government or revenues of the 
Indian territories." 

Directors are prohibited 

"from issuing any orders, instructions, dispatches, official letters, 
or communications whatever relating to India, or to the Government 
thereof, until the same shall have been sanctioned by the Board." 

Directors are ordered to 

"prepare instructions or orders upon any subject whatever at 
fourteen days' notice from the Board, or else to transmit the orders 
of the Board on the subject of India." 

The board is authorized to inspect all correspondence 
and dispatches to and from India, and the proceedings of 
the Courts of Proprietors and Directors. Lastly, the Court 
of Directors has to appoint a Secret Committee, consist- 
ing of their Chairman, their Deputy Chairman and their 
senior member, who are sworn to secrecy, and through 
whom, in all political and military matters, the President 
of the Board may transmit his personal orders to India, 
while the Committee acts as a mere channel of his com- 
munications. The orders respecting the Afghan and Bur- 
mese wars, and as to the occupation of Scinde were trans- 
mitted through this Secret Committee, without the Court 
of Directors being any more informed of them than the 
general public or Parliament. So far, therefore, the Pres- 
ident of the Board of Control would appear to be the real 
Mogul, and, under all circumstances, he retains an unlim- 
ited power for doing mischief, as, for instance, for causing 
the most ruinous wars, all the while being hidden under 
the name of the irresponsible Court of Directors. On the 
other hand, the Court of Directors is not without real 
power. As they generally exercise the initiative in adminis- 
trative measures, as they form, when compared with the 
Board of Control, a more permanent and steady body, 


with traditional rules for action and a certain knowledge 
of details, the whole of the ordinary internal administra- 
tion necessarily falls to their share. They appoint, too, 
under sanction of the Crown, the Supreme Government 
of India, the Governor-General and his Councils; possess- 
ing, besides, the unrestricted power to recall the highest 
servants, and even the Governor-General, as they did 
under Sir Robert Peel, with Lord Ellenborough. But this 
is still not their most important privilege. Receiving only 
£300 per annum, they are really paid in patronage, distri- 
buting all the writerships and cadetships, from whose 
number the Governor-General of India and the Provincial 
Governors are obliged to fill up all the higher places 
withheld from the natives. When the number of appoint- 
ments for the year is ascertained, the whole are divided 
into 28 equal parts — of which two are allotted to the Chair- 
man and Deputy Chairman, two to the President of the 
Board of Control, and one to each of the Directors. The 
annual value of each share of patronage seldom falls short 
of £14,000. 

"All nominations," says Mr. Campbell, "are now, as it were, 
the private property of individuals, being divided among the Direc- 
tors, and each disposing of his share as he thinks fit." 

Now, it is evident that the spirit of the Court of Direc- 
tors must pervade the whole of the Indian Upper Adminis- 
tration, trained as it is, at schools of Addiscombe and 
Haileybury, and appointed, as it is, by their patronage. 
It is no less evident that this Court of Directors, who 
have to distribute, year after year, appointments of the 
value of nearly £400,000 among the upper classes of Great 
Britain, will find little or no check from the public opin- 
ion directed by those very classes. What the spirit of the 
Court of Directors is, I will show in a following letter on 
the actual state of India. For the present it may suffice to 
say that Mr. Macaulay, in the course of the pending de- 
bates, defended the Court by the particular plea, that it was 

5* 67 

impotent to effect all the evils it might intend, so much 
so, that all improvements had been, effected in opposition 
to it, and against it by individual Governors who had acted 
on their own responsibility. Thus with regard to the sup- 
pression on the- Suttee, 32 the abolition of the abominable 
transit duties, and the emancipation of the East Indian 

The President of the Board of Control accordingly in- 
volves India in ruinous wars under cover of the Court of 
Directors, while the Court of Directors corrupt the Indian 
^.Administration under the cloak of the Board of Control. 

On looking deeper into the framework of this anoma- 
lous government we find at its bottom a third power, more 
supreme than either the Board or the Court, more irre- 
sponsible, and more concealed from and guarded against 
the superintendence of public opinion. The transient Pres- 
ident of the Board depends on the permanent clerks of 
his establishment in Cannon Row, and for those clerks 
India exists not in India, but in Leadenhall St. 33 Now, who 
is_ihe master at Leadenhall St.? 

Two thousand persons, elderly ladies and valetudinarian 
gen tlemen, possessing Indian stock, having no other inte r- 
est in India except to be paid t heir dividends out o f 
India n revenue, elect twenty-four Directors, whose only 
qualification is the holding of £1.000 stock . Merchants, 
bankers, and directors of companies incur great trouble in 
order to get into the Court for the interest of their private 

"A banker," said Mr. Bright, "in the City of London commands 
300 votes of the East India Company, whose word for the election 
of Directors is almost absolute law." 

Hen ce the Court, of Directors is no thing but a succursal 

" — — — — ___^— — — — C I 

to the English moneyocracy. The so-elected Court forms, 
in its turn, besides the above-mentioned Secret Commit- 
tee, three other Committees, which are 1) Political and 
Military, 2) Finance and Home, 3) Revenue, Judicial and 


Legislative. These Committees are every year appointed 
by rotation, so that a financier is one year on the Judicial 
and the next year on the Military Committee, and no one 
has any chance of a continued supervision over a partic- 
ular department. The mode of election having brought in 
men utterly unfit for their duties, the system of rotation 
gives to whatever fitness they might perchance retain, the 
final blow. Who, then, govern in fact under the name of 
the Direction? A large staff of irresponsible secretaries, 
examiners, and clerks at the India House, of whom, as 
Mr. Campbell observes, in his Scheme for the Government 
of India, only one individual has ever been in India, and 
he only by accident. Apart from the trade in patronage, 
it is therefore a mere fiction to speak of the politics, the 
principles, and the system of the Court of Directors . The 
j^nM^urt of Dil ators and th e real Home G nvprpmpnt, 
etc., of In diaare jhfi perma nent R nH irrpppnnsihlft bureau- 
cracy, "t he_creatur£ g nf the desk and the creatures _p f 
favour" r esidin g in Leaden haJLSt. We have thus a Corpo- 
ration ruling over an im mense empire, not formed, as in 
Ven ice, by eminent patricia ns, but by old obstinate clerks. 
and the like od dfellow s. 

* JNo wonder, then, that there exists no government by 
which so much is written and so little done, as the Gov- 
ernment of India. When the East India Company was 
only a commercial association, they, of course, requested 
a most detailed report on every item from the managers 
of their Indian factories, as is done by every trading con- 
cern. When the factories grew into an empire, the com- 
mercial items into shiploads of correspondence and docu- 
ments, the Leadenhall clerks went on in their system, 
which made the Directors and the Board their dependents; 
and they succeeded in transforming the Indian Govern- 
ment into one immense writing machine. Lord Broughton 
stated in his evidence before the Official Salaries Com- 
mittee, that with one single dispatch 45,000 pages of col- 
lection were sent. 


In order to give you some idea of the time-killing man- 
ner in which business is transacted at the India House, 
I will quote a passage from Mr. Dickinson. 

"When a dispatch arrives from India, it is referred, in the first 
instance, to the Examiners' Department, to which it belongs; after 
which the chairs* confer with the official in charge of that depart- 
ment, and settle with him the tenor of a reply, and transmit a draught 
of this reply to the Indian Minister, 34 in what is technically called 
P.C., i.e., previous communication. The chairs, in this preliminary 
state of P. C. depend mainly on the clerks. Such is this dependence 
that even in a discussion in the Court of Proprietors, after previous 
notice, it is pitiable to see the Chairman referring to a secretary 
who sits by his side, and keeps on whispering and prompting and 
chaffing him as if he were a mere puppet, and the Minister at the 
other end of the system is in the same predicament. In this stage 
of P. C, if there is a difference of opinion on the draught it is discussed, 
and almost invariably settled in friendly communication between 
the Minister and the Chair; finally the draught is returned by the 
Minister, either adopted or altered; and then it is submitted to the 
Committee of Directors superintending the department to which it 
belongs, with all papers bearing on the case, to be considered and 
discussed, and adopted or altered, and afterward it is exposed to 
the same process in the aggregate Court, and then goes, for the 
first time, as an official communication to the Minister, after which 
it undergoes the same process in the opposite direction." 

"When a measure is discussed in India," says Mr. Campbell, "the 
announcement that it has been referred to the Court of Directors, is 
regarded as an indefinite postponement." 

The close and abject spirit of this bureaucracy deserves 
to be stigmatized in the celebrated words of Burke: 

"This tribe of vulgar politicians are the lowest of our species. 
There is no trade so vile and mechanical as government in their 
hands. Virtue is not their habit. They are out of themselves in any 
course of conduct recommended only by conscience and glory. A 
large, liberal and prospective view of the interests of States passes 
with them for romance; and the principles that recommend it, for 
the wanderings of a disordered imagination. The calculators com- 
pute them out of their senses. The jesters and buffoons shame them 
out of everything grand and elevated. Littleness in object and in 
means to them appears soundness and sobriety." 

* This refers to the Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the Court 
of Directors of the East India Company. — Ed. 


The clerical establishments of Leadenhall St. and Can- 
non Row cost the Indian people the trifle of £160,000 an- 
nually. The oligarchy involves India in wars, in order to 
find employment for their younger sons; the moneyocracy 
consigns it to the highest bidder; and a subordinate bu- 
reaucracy paralyse its administration and perpetuate its 
abuses as the vital condition of their own perpetuation. 

Sir Charles Wood's bill alters nothing in the existing 
system. It enlarges the power of the Ministry, without 
adding to its responsibility. 

Written on July 5, 1853 Printed according to the 

text of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 3824, July 20, 1853 

Karl Marx 


The clauses of the India Bill are passing one by one, the 
debate scarcely offering any remarkable features, except 
the inconsistency of the so-called India Reformers. There 
is, for instance, my Lord Jocelyn, M. P., who has made a 
kind of political livelihood by his periodical denunciation 
of Indian wrongs, and of the maladministration of the East 
India Company. What do you think his amendment amount- 
ed to? To give the East India Company a lease for 10 
years. Happily, it compromised no one but himself. There 
is another professional "Reformer," Mr. Jos. Hume, who, 
during his long parliamentary life, has succeeded in trans- 
forming opposition itself into a particular manner of sup- 
porting the Ministry. He proposed not to reduce the num- 
ber of East India Directors from 24 to 18. The only amend- 
ment of common sense, yet agreed to, was that of Mr. 
Bright, exempting Directors nominated by the Government 
from the qualification in East India Stock, imposed upon 
the Directors elected by the Court of Proprietors. Go 
through the pamphlets published bj| the East Indian Re- 
form Association, 36 and you will feel a similar sensation as 
when, hearing of one great act of accusation against Bo- 
naparte, devised in common by Legitimists, Orleanists, 
Blue and Red Republicans, and even disappointed Bona- 
partists. Their only merit until now has been to draw pub- 
lic attention to Indian affairs in general, and further they 
cannot go in their present form of eclectic opposition. For 
instance, while they attack the doings of the English aris^ 


tocracy in India, they protest against the destruction of 
the Indian aristocracy of native princes. 

After the British intruders had once put their feet on 
India, and made up their mind to hold it, there remained 
no alternative but to break the power of the native princes 
by force or by intrigue. Placed with regard to them 
in similar circumstances as the ancient Romans with re- 
gard to their allies, they followed in the track of Roman 
politics. "It was," says an English writer, "a system of fat- 
tening allies, as we fatten oxen, till they were worthy of 
being devoured." After having won over their allies in the 
way of ancient Rome, the East India Company executed 
them in the modern manner of Change Alley. 37 In order to 
discharge the engagements they had entered into with the 
Company, the native princes were forced to borrow enor- 
mous sums from Englishmen at usurious interest. When 
their embarrassment had reached the highest pitch, the 
creditor got inexorable, "the screw was turned" and the 
princes were compelled either to concede their territories 
amicably to the Company, or to begin war; to become pen- 
sioners on their usurpers in one case, or to be deposed as 
traitors in the other. At this moment the native States 
occupy an area of 699,961 square miles, with a population 
of 52,941,263 souls, being, however, no longer the allies, 
but only the dependents of the British Government, upon 
multifarious conditions, and under the various forms of 
the subsidiary and of the protective systems. These sys- 
tems have in common the relinquishment, by the native 
States of the right of self-defence, of maintaining diplo- 
matic relations, and of settling the disputes among them- 
selves without the interference of the Governor-General. 
All of them have to pay a tribute, either in hard cash, or 
in a contingent of armed forces, commanded by British 
officers. The final absorption or annexation of these na- 
tive States is at present eagerly controverted between the 
reformers who denounce it as a crime, and the men of 
business who excuse it as a necessity. 


In my opinion the question itself is altogether improp- 
erly put. As to the native States they virtually ceased to 
exist from the moment they became subsidiary to or pro- 
tected by the Company. If you divide the revenue of a coun- 
try between two governments, you are sure to cripple 
the resources of the one and the administration of both. 
Under the present system the native States succumb un- 
der the double incubus of their native Administration and 
the tributes and inordinate military establishments imposed 
upon them by the Company. The conditions under which 
they are allowed to retain their apparent independence are 
at the same time the conditions of a permanent decay, 
and of an utter inability of improvement. Organic weak- 
ness is the constitutional law of their existence, as of all 
existences living upon sufferance. It is, therefore, not the 
native States, but the native Princes and Courts about 
whose maintenance the question revolves. Now, is it not 
a strange thing that the same men who denounce "the bar- 
barous splendours of the Crown and aristocracy of Eng- 
land" are shedding tears at the downfall of India Nabobs, 
Rajahs, and Jagirdars, 3 ® the great majority of whom pos- 
sess not even the prestige of antiquity, being generally 
usurpers of very recent date, set up by English intrigue! 
There exists in the whole world no despotism more ridicu- 
lous, absurd and childish than that of those Shahzamans 
and Shahriars of the Arabian Nights. The Duke of Welling- 
ton, Sir J. Malcolm, Sir Henry Russell, Lord Ellenborough, 
General Briggs, and other authorities, have pronounced 
injavmir of the status quo; but on what grounds? Because 
the native troops under English rule want employmen t 
in the petty warfares with their own countrymen, in order 
to prevent them from turning their strength against their 
own E uropean masters. Because the existence of independ - 
e nt States gives occasional employment to the Englis h 
troops. Because the hereditary princes a re the most servile 
to ols of English despotism, and checkl he rise of those 
bold military adventurers with whom India has and ey er 


will abound. . Because the independent territories afford a 
refuge to all discontented and enterprising native spirits. 
Leaving aside all these arguments, which state in so many 
words that the native princes are the strongholds of the 
present abominable English system and the greatest ob- 
stacles to Indian progress, I come to Sir Thomas Munro 
and Lord Elphinstone, who were at least men of superior 
genius, and of real sympathy for the Indian people. They 
think that without a native aristocracy there can be no 
energy in any other class of the community, and that the 
subversion of that aristocracy will not raise but debase a 
whole people. They may be right as long as the natives, 
under direct English rule, are systematically excluded from 
all superior offices, military and civil. Where there can 
be no great men by their own exertion, there must be 
great men by birth, to leave to a conquered people some 
greatness of their own. That exclusion, however, of the 
native people from the English territory, has been effect- 
ed only by the maintenance of the hereditary princes in 
the so-called independent territories. And one of these 
two concessions had to be made to the native army, on 
whose strength all British rule in India depends. I think 
we may trust the assertion of Mr. Campbell, that the 
native Indian aristocracy are the least enabled to fill 
higher offices; that for all fresh requirements it is 
necessary to create a fresh class; and that "from the 
acuteness and aptness to learn of the inferior classes, 
this can be done in India as it can be done in no other 

The native princes themselves are fast disappearing by 
the extinction of their houses; but, since the commence- 
ment of this century, the British Government has observed 
the policy of allowing them to make heirs by adoption, 
or of filling up their vacant seats with puppets of English 
creation. The great Governor-General, Lord Dalhousie, was 
the first to protest openly against this system. Were not 
the natural course of things artificially resisted, there 


would be wanted neither wars nor expenses to do away 
with the native princes. 

As to the pensioned princes, the £2,468,969 assigned to 
them by the British Government on the Indian revenue is 
a most heavy charge upon a people living on rice, and de- 
prived of the first necessaries of life. If they are good for 
anything, it is for exhibiting Royalty in its lowest stage of 
degradation and ridicule. Take, for instance, the Great Mo- 
gul,* the descendant of Timur Tamerlane. 39 He is allowed 
£120,000 a year. His authority does not extend beyond 
the walls of his palace, within which the Royal idiotic 
race, left to itself, propagates as freely as rabbits. Even the 
police of Delhi is held by Englishmen above his control. 
There he sits on his throne, a little shrivelled yellow old 
man, trimmed in a theatrical dress, embroidered with gold, 
much like that of the dancing girls of Hindustan. On cer- 
tain state occasions, the tinsel-covered puppet issues forth 
to gladden the hearts of the loyal. On his days of reception 
strangers have to pay a fee, in the form of guineas, as to 
any other saltimbanque exhibiting himself in public; while 
he, in his turn, presents them with turbans, diamonds, etc. 
On looking nearer at them, they find that the Royal dia- 
monds are, like so many pieces of ordinary glass, grossly 
painted and imitating as roughly as possible the precious 
stones, and jointed so wretchedly, that they break in the 
hand like gingerbread. 

The English money-lenders, combined with the English 
aristocracy, understand, we must own, the art of degrad- 
ing Royalty, reducing it to the nullity of constitutionalism 
at home, and to the seclusion of etiquette abroad. And 
now, here are the radicals, exasperated at this spectacle. 

Written on July 12, 1853 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 

New-York Daily Tribune, 

No. 3828, July 25, 1853 

* Bahadur Shah II.— Ed. 

Karl Marx 

London, Friday, July 15, 1853 

By the latest overland mail from India, intelligence has 
been received that the Burmese ambassadors have rejected 
the treaty proposed by General Godwin. The General af- 
forded them 24 hours more for reflection, but the Burmese 
departed within 10 hours. A third edition of the intermin- 
able Burmese war 41 appears to be inevitable. 

Of all the warlike expeditions of the British in the 
East, none have ever been undertaken on less warranted 
grounds than those against Burma. There was no possi- 
ble danger of invasion from that side, as there was from 
the North-West, Bengal being separated from Burma by a 
range of mountains, across which troops cannot be marched. 
To go to war with Burma the Indian Government is 
obliged to go to sea. To speak of maritime aggressions on 
the part of the Burmese is as ridiculous, as the idea of 
their coast-junks fronting the Company's war steamers 
would be preposterous. The pretension that the Yankees 
had strong annexation propensities applied to Pegu, is 
borne out by no facts. No argument, therefore, remains be- 
hind, but the want of employment for a needy aristocracy, 
the necessity of creating, as an English writer says, "a 
regular quality-workhouse, or Hampton Court 42 in the 
East." The first Burmese war (1824-26), entered into un- 
der the Quixotic administration of Lord Amherst, although 
it lasted little more than two years, added thirteen millions 


to the Indian debt. The maintenance of the Eastern settle- 
ments at Singapore, Penang and Malacca, exclusive of the 
pay of troops, causes an annual excess of expenditure over 
income amounting to £100,000. The territory taken from 
the Burmese in 1826 costs as much more. The territory 
of Pegu is still more ruinous. Now, why is it that England 
shrinks from the most necessary war in Europe, as now 
against Russia, while she tumbles, year after year, into 
the most reckless wars in Asia? The national debt has 
made her a trembler in Europe — the charges of the Asiatic 
wars are thrown on the shoulders of the Hindus. But we 
may expect from the now impending extinction of the 
opium revenue of Bengal, combined with the expenses of 
another Burmese war, that they will produce such a crisis 
in the Indian exchequer, as will cause a more thorough 
reform of the Indian Empire than all the speeches and 
tracts of the Parliamentary Reformers in England. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 3833, July 30, 1853 

Karl Marx 


The progress of the India bill through the Committee 
has little interest. It is significant, that all amendments 
are thrown out now by the Coalition coalescing with the 
Tories against their own allies of the Manchester School. 

The actual state of India may be illustrated by a few 
facts. The Home Establishment absorbs 3 per cent of 
the net revenue, and the annual interest for Home Debt 
and Dividends 14 per cent— together 17 per cent. If we 
deduct these annual remittances from India to England, 
the military charges amount to about two-thirds of the 
whole expenditure available for India, or to 66 per cent, 
while the charges for public works do not amount to more 
than 2 3 / 4 per cent of the general revenue, or for Bengal 
1 per cent, Agra 7 3 / 4 , Punjab i / 8 , Madras Y 2 » anc * Bom- 
bay 1 per cent of their respective revenues. These figures 
are the official ones of the Company itself. 

On the other hand nearly three-fifths of the whole 
net revenue are derived from the land, about one-seventh 
from opium, and upward of one-ninth from salt. These 
resources together yield 85 per cent of the whole receipts. 

As to minor items of expenditure and charges, it may 
suffice to state that the Moturpha revenue maintained 
in the Presidency of Madras, and levied on shops, looms, 
sheep, cattle, sundry professions, etc., yields somewhat 
about £50,000, while the yearly dinners of the East India 
House 44 cost about the same sum. 



The great bulk of the revenue is derived from the land. 
As the various kinds of Indian land-tenure have recently 
been described in so many places, and in popular style, 
too, I propose to limit my observations on the subject to 
a few general remarks on the zemindari and ryotwari 

The zemindari and the ryotwari were both of them ag- 
rarian revolutions, effected by British ukases, and op- 
posed to each other; the one aristocratic, the other demo- 
cratic; the one a caricature of English landlordism, the 
other of French peasant-proprietorship; but pernicious, 
both combining the most contradictory character — both j 
made not for the people, who cultivate the soil, nor for the 1 
holder, who owns it, but for the Government that taxes it. 

By the zemindari system, the people of the Presidency ! 
of Bengal were depossessed at once of their hereditary 
claims to the soil, in favour of the native tax-gatherers 
called zemindars. By the ryotwari system introduced into j 
the Presidencies of Madras and Bombay, the native no- i 
bility, with their territorial claims, merassis, jagirs, etc., ! 
were reduced with the common people to the holding of 
minute fields, cultivated by themselves, in favour of the 
Collector of the East India Company 45 . But a curious sort 
of English landlord was the zemindar, receiving only one- 
tenth of the rent, while he had to make over nine-tenths 
of it to the Government. A curious sort of French peasant 
was the ryot, without any permanent title in the soil, and 
with the taxation changing every year in proportion to his 
harvest. The original class of zemindars, notwithstanding 
their unmitigated and uncontrolled rapacity against the 
depossessed mass of the exhereditary landholders, soon 
melted away under the pressure of the Company, in order 
to be replaced by mercantile speculators who now hold 
all the land of Bengal, with exception of the estates re- 
turned under the direct management of the Government. 
These speculators have introduced a variety of the zemin- 
dari tenure called patni. Not content to be placed with re- 


gard to the British Government in the situation of middle- 
men, they have created in their turn a class of "hereditary" 
middlemen called patnidars, who created again their sub- 
patnidars, etc., so that a perfect scale of hierarchy of mid- 
dlemen has sprung up, which presses with its entire weight 
on the unfortunate cultivator. As to the ryots in Madras 
and Bombay, the system soon degenerated into one of 
forced cultivation, and the land lost all its value. 

"The land," says Mr. Campbell, "would be sold for balances by 
the collector, as in Bengal, but generally is not, for a very good 
reason, viz.: that nobody will buy it." 

Thus, in Bengal, we have a combination of English land- 
lordism, of the Irish middlemen system, of the Austrian 
system, transforming the landlord into the tax-gatherer, 
and of the Asiatic system making the State the real land- 
lord. In Madras and Bombay we have a French peasant 
proprietor who is at the same time a serf, and a metayer 
of the State. The drawbacks of all these various systems 
accumulate upon him without his enjoying any of their 
redeeming features. The ryot is subject, like the French 
peasant, to the extortion of the private usurer; but he has 
no hereditary, no permanent title in his land, like the 
French peasant. Like the serf he is forced to cultivation, 
but he is not secured against want like the serf. Like the 
metayer he has to divide his produce with the State, but 
the State is not obliged, with regard to him, to advance 
the funds and the stock, as it is obliged to do with regard 
to the metayer. In Bengal, as in Madras and Bombay, under 
the zemindari as under the ryotwari, the ryots — and they 
form ll/12ths of the whole Indian population— have been 
wretchedly pauperized; and if" they are, morally speaking, 
not sunk as low as the Irish cottiers, they owe it to their 
climate, the men of the South being possessed of less 
wants, and of more imagination than the men of the North. 

Conjointly with the land-tax we have to consider the 
salt-tax. Notoriously the Company retain the monopoly 

6—12 81 

of that article which they sell at three times its mercantile 
value — and this in a country where it is furnished by the 
sea, by the lakes, by the mountains and the earth itself. 
The practical working of this monopoly was described by 
the Earl of Albemarle in the following words: 

"A great proportion of the salt for inland consumption through- 
out the country is purchased from the Company by large wholesale 
merchants at less than 4 rupees per maund* these mix a fixed pro- 
portion of sand, chiefly got a few miles to the south-west of Dacca, 
and send the mixture to a second, or counting the Government as 
the first, to a third monopolist at about 5 or 6 rupees. This dealer 
adds more earth or ashes, and thus passing through more hands, 
from the large towns to villages, the price is still raised from 8 to 
10 rupees and the proportion of adulteration from 25 to 40 per cent. 
It appears then that the people pay from £ 21, 17s. 2d. to £27, 6s. 2d. 
for their salt, or in other words, from 30 to 36 times as much as the 
wealthy people of Great Britain." 

As an instance of English bourgeois morals, I may al- 
lege, that Mr. Campbell defends the opium monopoly be- 
cause it prevents the Chinese from consuming too much 
of the drug, and that he defends the brandy monopoly (li- 
cences for spirit-selling in India) because it has wonder- 
fully increased the consumption of brandy in India. 

The zemindar tenure, the ryotwar, and the salt-tax, com- 
bined with the Indian climate, were the hotbeds of the 
cholera — India's ravages upon the Western World — a 
striking and severe example of the solidarity of human 
woes and wrongs. 

Written on July 19, 1853 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 3838, August 5, 1853 

* An Indian dry measure varying locally. On the average it is 
26.4 lbs.— Ed. 

Karl Marx 


London, Friday, July 22, 1853 

I propose in this letter to conclude my observations on 
India. How came it that English supremacy was estab- 
lished in India? The paramount power of the Great Mogul 
was broken by the Mogul Viceroys. The power of the Vice- 
roys was broken by the Mahrattas/' 6 The power of the 
Mahrattas was broken by the Afghans, and while all were 
struggling against all, the Briton rushed in and was en- 
abled to subdue them all. A country not only divided be- 
tween Mohammedan and Hindu, but between tribe and 
tribe, between caste and caste; a soci ety whose frame work 
was base d on a sort of equilibrium, resulting from a gen er- 
af repulsion an d co nstitutional exclusiveness between al l 
its members. Such a country and such a society, were they 
not the predestined prey oTconquest ? If we knew nothing 
of the past history of Hindustan, would there not be the 
one great and incontestable fact, that even at this moment 
India is held in English thraldom by an Indian army main- 
tained at the cost of India? India, then, could not escape 
the fate of bein g conq uered, and the whole of her past his- 
tory, it it be anything , is the ftistory of the successive con- 
quests she has undergone. /Indian society has no histor y 
at all, at least no known history . What we call its history, 
is but the history of the successive intruders who founded 
their empires on the passive basis of that unresisting and 
unchanging society. The question, therefore, is not whether 

6* 83 

the E nglish had a right to conquer India, but whethe r 
we are to prefer India conquered by the Turk, by the Per - , 
sian.J yy the Russian, to India conquered by the Briton. / 
England h as to f ulfil a double mission in India: one 
destructive, the other regenerating — the annihilation of old 
Asiatic society, and the laying of the material foundations 
of Western society in Asia. 

Arabs, Turks, Tartars, Moguls, who had successively 
overrun India, soon became Hinduized, the barbarian con- 
querors being, by an eternal law of history, conquered 
themselves by the superior civilization of their subjects. 
The British were the first conquerors superior, and, there- 
fore, inaccessible to Hindu civilization. They destroyed it 
by breaking up the native communities, by uprooting the 
native industry, and by levelling all that was great and 
elevated in the native society. The historic pages of their 
rule in India report hardly anything beyond that destruc- 
tion. The work of regeneration hardly transpires through 
a heap of ruins. Nevertheless it has begun. 

The political unity of India, more consolidated, and ex - 
tending farther than it ever did und pr thp O reat Moguls- 
was the first condition of its regeneration . That unity, 
imposed by the British sword, will now be strengthened 
and perpetuated by the electric telegraph. The native army, 
organized and trained by the British drill-sergeant, was the 
sine qua non of Indian self-emancipation, and of India ceas- 
ing to be the prey of the first foreign intruder. The free 
press, introduced for the first time into Asiatic society, 
and managed principally by the common offspring of Hin- 
dus and Europeans, is a new and powerful agent of recon- 
struction. The zemindari and ryotwari themselves, abom- 
inable as they are, involve two distinct forms of private 
property in land — the great desideratum of Asiatic society. 
From the Indian natives, reluctantly and sparingly educat- 
ed at Calcutta, under English superintendence, a fresh class 
is springing up, endowed with the requirements for gov- 
ernment and imbued with European science. Steam has 


brought India into regular and rapid communication with 
Europe, has connected its chief ports with those of the 
whole south-eastern ocean, and has revindicated it from 
the isolated position which was the prime law of its stag- 
nation. The day is not far distant when, by a combination 
of railways and steam vessels, the distance between Eng- 
land and India, measured by time, will be shortened to eight 
days, and when that once fabulous country will thus be 
actually annexed to the Western world. 

The ruling classes of Great Britain have had, till now, 
but an accidental, transito ry and exceptional interest in 
the progress of Ind ia. The aristocracy wanted to conquer 
it, the moneyocracy to plunder it, and the millocracy to 
undersell it. But now the tables are turned. The millocracy 
have discovered that the transformation of India into a 
reproductive country has become of vital importance to 
them, and that, to that end, it is necessary, above all, to 
gift her with means of irrigation and of internal commu- 
nication. They intend now drawing a net of railways over 
India. And they will do it. The results must be inappre- 

It is notorious that the productive powers of India are 
paralyzed by the utter want of means for conveying and 
exchanging its various produce. Nowhere, more than in 
India, do we meet with social destitution in the midst of 
natural plenty, for want of the means of exchange. It was 
proved before a Committee of the British House of Com- 
mons, which sat in 1848, that 

"when grain was selling from 6s. to 8s. a quarter at Khandesh, 
it v/as sold at 64s. to 70s. at Poona, where the people were dying in 
the streets of famine, without the possibility of gaining supplies from 
Khandesh, because the clay roads were impracticable." 

The introduction of railways may be easily made to 
subserve agricultural purposes by the formation of tanks, 
where ground is required for embankment, and by the 
conveyance of water along the different lines. Thus irri- 


gation, the sine qua non of farming in the East, might 
be greatly extended, and the frequently recurring local 
famines, arising from the want of water, would be avert- 
ed. The general importance of railways, viewed under this 
head, must become evident, when we remember that irri- 
gated lands, even in the districts near Ghauts, pay three 
times as much in taxes, afford ten or twelve times as much 
employment, and yield twelve or fifteen times as much 
profit, as the same area without irrigation. 

Railways will afford the means of diminishing the 
amount and the cost of the military establishments. Col. 
Warren, Town Major of the Fort St. William, stated be- 
fore a Select Committee of the House of Commons: 

"The practicability of receiving intelligence from distant parts of 
the country in as many hours as at present it requires days and even 
weeks, and of sending instructions with troops and stores, in the 
more brief period, are considerations which cannot be too highly 
estimated. Troops could be kept at more distant and healthier stations 
than at present, and much loss of life from sickness would by this 
means be spared. Stores could not to the same extent be required 
at the various depots, and the loss by decay, and the destruction 
incidental to the climate, would also be avoided. The number of 
troops might be diminished in direct proportion to their effective- 

We know that th e municipal or ganization and the eco - 
nomical basis of the village communities have been bro - 
ken up, but their worst featu re, the dissolution of society 
int o stereotype and d isconnected atoms, has survi ved their 
v itality . The viiiap^ isolati on produced the absence o f 
rgpirlg in Tnrliq qnH tbp ahspnce of roads perpetuated the 
village isolation. On this plan a community existed with a 
given scale of low conveniences, almost without inter- 
course with other villages, without the desires and efforts 
indispensable to social advance. The British having broken 
lip this RPlf-fiiiffir.jpnt of the vill ages, railways will 
prov ide the new want of communication and intercourse. 



"one of the effects of the railway system will be to bring into every 
village affected by it such knowledge of the contrivances and ap- 
pliances of other countries, and such means of obtaining them, as 
will first put the hereditary and stipendiary village artisanship of 
India to full proof of its capabilities, and then supply its defects." 
(Chapman, The Cotton and Commerce of India.) 

I know that the English millocracy intend to endow In- 
dia v/ith railways with the exclusive view of extracting at 
diminished expenses the cotton and other raw materials 
for their manufactures. But when you have once introduced 
machinery into the locomotion of a country, which pos- 
sesses iron and coals, you are unable to withhold it from 
its fabrication. You cannot mainta in p npt nf mil ways over 
an immense country with out introducing all those indus- 
trial processes necessary to meet the immediate and cur - 
rent wants of railway locomotion , and out of which there 
must grow the application of machinery to those branches 
of industry not immediately connected with railways . The 
railway system will therefore become, in India, truly the 
forerunner of modern industry/This is the more certain as 
the Hindus are allowed by British authorities themselves 
to possess particular aptitude for accommodating them- 
selves to entirely new labour, and acquiring the requisite 
knowledge of machinery. Ample proof of this fact is af- 
forded by the capacities and expertness of the native en- 
gineers in the Calcutta mint, where they have been for 
years employed in working the steam machinery, by the 
natives attached to the several steam-engines in the Hard- 
war coal districts, and by other instances. Mr. Campbell 
himself, greatly influenced as he is by the prejudices of the 
East India Company, is obliged to avow 

"that the great mass of the Indian people possesses a great in- 
dustrial energy, is well fitted to accumulate capital, and remarkable 
for a mathematical clearness of head and talent for figures and exact 
sciences." "Their intellects," he says, "are excellent." 

Modern industry, resulting from the railway system, will 
dissolve the hereditary divisions of labou r^jjp^n wtTirfT 


rest the Indian c astes, those decisive impediments to In- 
dian progress and Indian power. 

All the English bourgeoisie may be forced to do will 
neither emancipate nor materially mend the social con- 
dition of the mass of the people, depending not only on 
the development of the productive powers, but on their 
appropriation by the people. But what they will not fail 
to do is to lay down the material premises for both. Has 
the bourgeoisie ever done more? Has it ever effected a 
progress without dragging individuals and peoples through 
blood and dirt, through misery and degradation? 

The Indians will not reap the fruits of the new elements 
of society scattered among them by the British bourgeoi- 
sie, till in Great Britain itself the now ruling classes shal l 
have been supplanted by the industrial proletariat, or til l 
the Hindus themselves shall have grown strong enoughTo 
t nrow off the English yoke~aitogether. At all events, we 
may safely expect to see, at a more or less remote period, 
the regeneration of that great and interesting country, 
whose gentle natives are, to use the expression of Prince 
Saltykov, even in the most inferior classes, "plus fins et plus 
adroits que les Italians,"* whose submission even is coun- 
terbalanced by a certain calm nobility, who, notwithstand- 
ing their natural languor, have astonished the British of- 
ficers by their bravery, whose country has been the source 
of our languages, our religions, and who represent the 
type of the ancient German in the Jat 47 and the type of 
the ancient Greek in the Brahmin. 

I cannot part with the subject of India without some 
concluding remarks. 

The profound hypocrisy and inherent barbarism of bour- 
geoi s civilization lies unveiled before our eves, turning 
from its home, where it ass umes respectable forms, to 
the coloniei, wiiere~it goes naked. They are the defenders 

* "More subtle and adroit than the Italians." Marx quotes from 
A. D. Saltykov's book Lettres sur Vlnde. Paris, 1848, p. 61.— Ed. 


of property, but did any revolutionary party ever originate 
agrarian revolutions like those in Bengal, in Madras, and 
in Bombay? Did they not, in India, to borrow an expression 
of that great robber, Lord Clive himself, resort to atrocious 
extortion, when simple corruption could not keep pace 
with their rapacity? While they prated in Europe about 
the inviolable sanctity of the national debt, did they not 
confiscate in India the dividends of the rajahs, who had 
invested their private savings in the Company's own funds? 
While they combated the French revolution under the 
pretext of defending "our holy religion," did they not for- 
bid, at the same time, Christianity to be propagated in In- 
dia, and did they not, in order to make money out of the 
pilgrims streaming to the temples of Orissa and Bengal, 
take up the trade in the murder and prostitution perpetrat- 
ed in the temple of Juggernaut? 48 These are the men of 
"Property, Order, Family, and Religion." 

The devastating e ffects of English industry , when con- 
templated with regard to India , a country as vast as Eu- 
rope, and containing 150 millions of acres, are palpable and 
confounding. But v/e must not forget that they are only 
t he organic results of the whole system of production as 
it^ is now constituted. That production rests on the supreme 
rule of capital . The centralization of capital is essential 
to the existence of capital as an independent power. The 
destructive influence of that centralization upon the mar- 
kets of the world does but reveal, in the most gigantic- 
dimensions, the i nherent organic l aws of political economy, 
now at work in every civiliz ed town . The bourgeois pe- 
riod ot history na s to creat e the material basis of the new 
world — on the one hand the universal in tercourse founded 
upon th e mutual depende ncy ot man Kind, and the means 
of that intercourse; on the otner nand the development 
of the productive powe r s of man and the transformation 
of material production into a scientific domination of nat- 
ural agencies. Bourgeois industry and commerce create 
these material conditions of a new world in the same way 


as geological revolutions have created the surface of the 
earth. When a great social revolution shall have mastered 
the results of the bourgeois epoch, the market of the world 
and the modern powers of production, and subjected them 
to the common control of the most advanced peoples, then 
only will human progress cease to resemble that hideous 
pagan idol, who would not drink the nectar but from the 
skulls of the slain. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 3840, August 8, 1353 

Karl Marx 


The declaration of war against Persia, by England or 
rather by the East India Company, 49 is the reproduction 
of one of those cunning and reckless tricks of Anglo-Asiat- 
ic diplomacy, by virtue of which England has extended her 
possessions on that continent. So soon as the Company 
casts a greedy look on any of the independent sovereigns, or 
on any region whose political and commercial resources 
or whose gold and jewels are valued, the victim is accused 
of having violated this or that ideal or actual conven- 
tion, transgressed an imaginary promise or restriction, 
committed some nebulous outrage, and then war is de- 
clared, and the eternity of wrong, the perennial force of the 
fable of the wolf and the lamb, is again incarnadined in 
national history. 

For many years England has coveted a position in the 
Persian Gulf, and above all the possession of the Island of 
Kareg, situated in the northern part of those waters. The 
celebrated Sir John Malcolm, several times Ambassador 
to Persia, expatiated on the value of that island to Eng- 
land, and affirmed that it could be made one of her most 
flourishing establishments in Asia, being in the neighbour- 
hood of Bushire, Bandar Rig, Basra, Grien Barberia and 
Elkatif. Accordingly, the island and Bushire are already in 
the possession of England. Sir John considered it a central 
point for the commerce of Turkey, Arabia and Persia. The 
climate is excellent, and it contains all the facilities for 


becoming a flourishing spot. The Ambassador more than 
thirty-five years ago submitted his observations to Lord 
Minto, then Governor-General, and both sought to carry 
out the scheme. Sir John, in fact, received the command 
of an expedition to take the island, and had already set 
out, when he received orders to return to Calcutta, and 
Sir Harford Jones was sent on a diplomatic mission to 
Persia. During the first siege of Herat by Persia, in 1837- 
38, England, under the same ephemeral pretence as now 
— that is, to defend the Afghans, with whom she has con- 
stantly a deadly feud — seized upon Kareg, but was 
forced by circumstances, by the interference of Russia, to 
surrender her prey. The lately renewed and successful at- 
tempt of Persia against Herat has afforded England an 
occasion to accuse the Shah of violation of good faith 
toward her, and to take the island as a first step toward 

Thus, for half a century, England has striven continual- 
ly, but rarely with success, to establish her preponderance 
in the Cabinet of the Persian Shahs. The latter, however, 
are a match for their wheedling foes, and squirm out of 
such treacherous embraces. Aside from having under their 
eyes English dealings in India, the Persians very likely 
keep in view this advice, given to Feth-ali Shah, in 1805: 
"Distrust the counsel of a nation of greedy merchants, 
which in India traffics with the lives and crowns of sov- 
ereigns." Set a thief to catch a thief. In Teheran, the 
capital of Persia, English influence is very low; for, not 
counting Russian intrigues there, France occupies a prom- 
inent standing, and of the three filibusters, Persia may 
most dread the British. At the present moment an embas- 
sy from Persia is on the way to or has already reached 
Paris, and there very likely the Persian complication will 
be the subject of diplomatic disputes. France, indeed, is 
not indifferent to the occupation of the island in the Per- 
sian Gulf. The question is rendered yet more knotty by the 
fact that France disentombs some buried parchment by 


which Kareg has already been twice ceded to her by the 
Persian Shahs — one so far back as in 1708, under Louis 
XIV, and then in 1808 — on both occasions conditionally, 
it is true, but in terms sufficient to constitute some rights, 
or justify pretensions from the present imitator of those 
sovereigns, who were sufficiently anti-English. 

In a recent answer to the Journal des Debats, The Lon- 
don Times gives up in the name of England to France ev- 
ery pretension to the leadership in European affairs, reserv- 
ing for the English nation the undisputed direction of the 
affairs of Asia and America, where no other European 
power must interfere. It may, nevertheless, be doubted if 
Louis Bonaparte will accept this division of the world. At 
any rate, French diplomacy in Teheran during the late 
misunderstandings did not heartily support England; and 
the French press exhuming and ventilating Gallic preten- 
sions to Kareg seems to foreshadow that England will not 
find it an easy game to attack and dismember Persia. 

Written on October 30, 1856 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 4904, January 7, 1857 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 


The mails of the America which reached us yesterday 
morning bring a variety of documents concerning the Brit- 
ish quarrel with the Chinese authorities at Canton, and 
the warlike operations of Admiral Seymour. The result 
which a careful study of the official correspondence be- 
tween the British and Chinese authorities at Hongkong and 
Canton must, we think, produce upon every impartial 
mind, is that the_Britis h are in t h£_wrong_jn the whole 
proceeding. The alleged cause of the quarrel, as stated by 
the latter, is that instead of appealing to the British Con- 
sul, certain Chinese officers had violently removed some 
Chinese criminals from a lorcha lying in Canton River, 
and hauled down the British flag which was flying from 
its mast. But, as says The London Times, "there are, in- 
deed, matters in dispute such as whether the lorcha was 
carrying British colours, and whether the Consul was en- 
tirely justified in the steps that he took." The doubt thus 
admitted is confirmed when we remember that the provi- 
sion of the treaty, 50 which the Consul insists should be ap- 
plied to this lorcha, relates to British ships alone; while 
the lorcha, as it abundantly appears, was not in any just 
sense British. But in order that our readers may have the 
whole case before them, we proceed to give what is im- 
portant in the official correspondence. First, we have a 
communication dated Oct. 21, from Mr. Parkes, the British 
Consul at Canton, to Governor-General Yeh, as follows: 


"On the morning of the 8th inst. the British lorcha Arrow, when 
lying among the shipping anchored before the city, was boarded, 
without any previous reference being made to the British Consul, by 
a large force of Chinese officers and soldiers in uniform, who, in the 
face of the remonstrance of the master, an Englishman, seized, bound 
and carried away twelve Chinese out of her crew of fourteen, and 
hauled down her colours. I reported all the particulars of this public 
insult to the British flag, and grave violation of the ninth article of 
the Supplementary Treaty, to your Excellency the same day, and 
appealed to you to afford satisfaction for the insult, and cause the 
provision of the treaty to be in this case faithfully observed. But your 
Excellency, with a strange disregard both to justice and treaty en- 
gagement, has offered no reparation or apology for the injury, and, 
by retaining the men you have seized in your custody, signify your 
approval of this violation of the treaty, and leave her Majesty's 
Government without assurance that a similar event shall not again 

It seems that the Chinese on board the lorcha were 
seized by the Chinese officers, because the latter had been 
informed that some of the crew had participated in a pir- 
acy committed against a Chinese merchantman. The British 
Consul accuses the Chinese Governor-General of seizing 
the crew, of hauling down the British flag, of declining to 
offer any apology, and of retaining the men seized in his 
custody. The Chinese Governor, in a letter addressed to 
Admiral Seymour, affirms that, having ascertained that 
nine of the captives were innocent, he directed, on Oct. 10, 
an officer to put them on board of their vessel again, but 
that Consul Parkes refused to receive them. As to the lor- 
cha itself, he states that when the Chinese on board were 
seized, she was supposed to be a Chinese vessel, and right- 
ly so, because she was built by a Chinese, and belonged 
to a Chinese, who had fraudulently obtained possession 
of a British ensign, by entering his vessel on the colonial 
British register — a method, it seems, habitual with Chinese 
smugglers. As to the question of the insult to the flag, the 
Governor remarks: 

"It has been the invariable rule with lorchas of your Excellency's 
nation, to haul down the flag when they drop anchor, and to hoist 


it again when they get under way. When the lorcha was boarded, 
in order that the prisoners might be seized, it has been satisfacto- 
rily proved that no flag was flying. How then could a flag have 
been hauled down? Yet Consul Parkes, in one dispatch after another, 
pretends that satisfaction is required for the insult offered to the 

From these premises the Chinese Governor concludes 
that no breach of any treaty has been committed. On Oct. 
12, nevertheless, the British Plenipotentiary 51 demanded 
not only the surrender of the whole of the arrested crew, 
but also an apology. The Governor thus replies: 

"Early in the morning of Oct. 22, I wrote to Consul Parkes, and 
at the same time forwarded to him tv/elve men, namely, Li Ming-tai 
and Li Chi-fu, convicted on the inquiry I had instituted, and the wit- 
ness, Wu Ai-ya, together with nine previously tendered. But Consul 
Parkes would neither receive the twelve prisoners nor my letter." 

Parkes might, therefore, have now got back the whole 
of his twelve men, together with what was most probably 
an apology, contained in a letter which he did not open. 
In the evening of the same day, Governor Yeh again made 
inquiry why the prisoners tendered by him were not re- 
ceived, and why he received no answer to his letter. No 
notice was taken of this step, but on the 24th fire was 
opened on the forts, and several of them were taken: and 
it was not until Nov. 1 that Admiral Seymour explained the 
apparently incomprehensible conduct of Consul Parkes in 
a message to the Governor. The men, he says, had been 
restored to the Consul, but "not publicly restored to their 
vessel, nor had the required apology been made for the 
violation of the Consular jurisdiction." To this quibble, 
then, of not restoring in state a set of men numbering three 
convicted criminals, the whole case is reduced. To this the 
Governor of Canton answers, first, that the twelve men had 
been actually handed over to the Consul, and that there 
had not been "any refusal to return them to their ves- 
sel." What was still the matter with this British Consul, 
the Chinese Governor only learned after the city had been 


bombarded for six days. As to an apology, Governor Yeh 
insists that none could be given, as no fault had been com- 
mitted. We quote his words: 

"No foreign flag was seen by my executive at the time of the 
capture, and as, in addition to this, it was ascertained on examination 
of the prisoners by the officer deputed to conduct it, that the lor- 
cha was in no respect a foreign vessel, I maintain that there was 
no mistake committed." 

Indeed, the force of this Chinaman's dialectics disposes 
so effectually of the whole question — and there is no other 
apparent case — that Admiral Seymour at last has no re- 
source left him but a declaration like the following: 

"I must positively decline any further argument on the merits 
of the case of the lorcha Arrow. I am perfectly satisfied of the facts 
as represented to your Excellency by Mr. Consul Parkes." 

But after having taken the forts, breached the walls of 
the city, and bombarded Canton for six days, the Admiral 
suddenly discovers quite a new object for his measures, 
as we find him writing to the Chinese Governor on Oct. 30: 

"It is now for your Excellency, by immediate consultation with 
me, to terminate a condition of things of which the present evil is 
not slight, but which, if not amended, can scarcely fail to be produc- 
tive of the most serious calamities." 

The Chinese Governor answers, that according to the 
Convention of 1849, 52 he had no right to ask for such a 
consultation. He further says: 

"In reference to the admission into the city, I must observe that, 
in April, 1849, his Excellency the Plenipotentiary Bonham issued a 
public notice at the factories here, to the effect that he thereby pro- 
hibited foreigners from entering the city. The notice was inserted 
in the nev/spapers of the time, and will, I presume, have been read 
by your Excellency. Add to this that the exclusion of foreigners 
from the city is by the unanimous vote of the whole population of 
Canton. It may be supposed how little to their liking has been this 
storming of the forts and this destruction of their dwellings; and, 
apprehensive as I am of the evil that may hence befall the officials 
and citizens of your Excellency's nation, I can suggest nothing bet- 
ter than a continued adherence to the policy of the Plenipotentiary 

7—12 97 

Bonham, as to the correct course to be pursued. As to the consul- 
tation proposed by your Excellency, I have already, some days ago, 
deputed Tsang, Prefect of Liuchow." 

Admiral Seymour now makes a clean breast of it, de- 
claring that he does not care for the convention of Mr. 

"Your Excellency's reply refers me to the notification of the 
British Plenipotentiary of 1849, prohibiting foreigners from entering 
Canton. Now, I must remind you that, although we have indeed se- 
rious matter of complaint against the Chinese Government for 
breach of the promise given in 1847 to admit foreigners into Canton 
at the end of two years, my demand now made is in no way connect- 
ed with former negotiations on the same subject, neither am I de- 
manding admission of any but the foreign officials, and this only 
for the simple and sufficient reasons above assigned. On my propos- 
al to treat personally with your Excellency, you do me the honour 
to remark that you sent a Prefect some days ago. I am compelled 
therefore to regard your Excellency's whole letter as unsatisfactory 
in the extreme, and have only to add that, unless I immediately re- 
ceive an explicit assurance of your assent to what I have proposed, 
I shall at once resume offensive operations." 

Governor Yeh retorts by again entering into the details 
of the Convention of 1849: 

"In 1848 there was a long controversial correspondence on the 
subject between my predecessor Hsii and the British Plenipotentiary, 
Mr. Bonham, and Mr. Bonham being satisfied that an interview with- 
in the city was utterly out of the question, addressed a letter to Hsii 
in the April of 1849, in which he said, 'At the present time I can 
have no more discussion with your Excellency on this subject.' He 
further issued a notice from the factories to the effect that no for- 
eigner was to enter the city, which was inserted in the papers, and he i 
communicated this to the British Government. There was not a 
Chinese or foreigner of any nation who did not know that the ques- 
tion was never to be discussed again." 

Impatient of argument, the British Admiral hereupon 
forces his way into the City of Canton to the residence of 
the Governor, at the same time destroying the Imperial 
fleet in the river. Thus there are two distinct acts in this 
diplomatic and military drama — the first introducing the 
bombardment of Canton on the pretext of a breach of the 


Treaty of 1842 committed by the Chinese Governor, and 
the second, continuing that bombardment on an enlarged 
scale, on the pretext that the Governor clung stubbornly 
to the Convention of 1849. First Canton is bombarded for 
breaking a treaty, and next it is bombarded for observing 
a treaty. Besides, it is not even pretended that redress 
was not given in the first instance, but only that redress 
was not given in the orthodox manner. 

The view of the case put forth by The London Times 
would do no discredit even to General William Walker of 

"By this outbreak of hostilities," says that journal, "existing trea- 
ties are annulled, and we are left free to change our relations with 
the Chinese Empire as we please. The recent proceedings at Canton 
warn us that we ought to enforce that right of free entrance into 
the country and into the ports open to us, which was stipulated for 
in the Treaty of 1842. We must not again be told that our repre- 
sentatives must be excluded from the presence of the Chinese Gov- 
ernor-General, because we have waived the performance of the 
article which enabled foreigners to penetrate beyond the precincts 
of our factories." 

In other words, "we" have commenced hostilities in or- 
der to break an existing treaty and to enforce a claim 
which "we" have waived by an express convention! We 
are happy to say, however, that another prominent organ 
of British opinion expresses itself in a more humane and 
becoming tone. 

"It is," says The Daily News, "a monstrous fact, that in order to 
avenge the irritated pride of a British official, and punish the folly 
of an Asiatic governor, we prostitute our strength to the wicked 
work of carrying fire and sword, and desolation and death, into 
the peaceful homes of unoffending men, on whose shores we were 
originally intruders. Whatever may be the issue of this Canton bom- 
bardment, the deed itself is a bad and a base one — a reckless and 
wanton waste of human life at the shrine of a false etiquette and 
a mistaken policy." 

It is, perhaps, a question whether the civilized nations 
of the world will approve this mode of invading a peaceful 

7* 99 

country, without previous declaration of war, for an al- 
leged infringement of the fanciful code of diplomatic eti- 
quette. If the first Chinese war, 53 in spite of its infamous 
pretext, was patiently looked upon by other powers, be- 
cause it held out the prospect of opening the trade with 
China, is not this second v/ar likely to obstruct that trade 
for an indefinite period? Its first result must be the cutting 
off of Canton from the tea-growing districts, as yet, for 
the most part, in the hands of the imperialists— a circum - 
stance which cannot profit anybody but the Rus sian ove r- 
land tea traders. 

Written on January 7, 1857 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 4918, January 23, 1857 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 



London, February 27, 1857 

The Earl of Derby's resolution, and that of Mr. Cobden, 
both of them passing condemnation upon the Chinese hos- 
tilities, were moved according to notices given, the one 
on the 24th of February, in the House of Lords, the other 
on the 27th of February, in the House of Commons. The 
debates in the Lords ended on the same day when the de- 
bates in the Commons began. The former gave the Pal- 
merston Cabinet a shock by leaving it in the comparatively 
weak majority of 36 votes. The latter may result in its 
defeat. But whatever interest may attach to the discus- 
sion in the Commons, the debates in the House of Lords 
have exhausted the argumentative part of the controver- 
sy — the masterly speeches of Lords Derby and Lyndhurst 
forestalling the eloquence of Mr. Cobden, Sir E. Bulwer, 
Lord John Russell, and tutti quanti. 

The only law authority on the part of the Government, 
the Lord Chancellor*, remarked that "unless England had 
a good case with regard to the Arrow, all proceedings 
from the last to first were wrong." Derby and Lyndhurst 
proved beyond doubt that England had no case at all with 
regard to that lorcha. The line of argument followed by 
them coincides so much with that taken up in the columns 
of The Tribune** on the first publication of the English 

* Robert Cranworth. — Ed. 
** See this collection, pp. 94-100.— Ed. 


dispatches that I am able to condense it here into a very 
small compass. 

What is the charge against the Chinese Government upon 
which the Canton massacres are pretended to rest? The 
infringement of Art. 9 of the supplemental treaty of 1843. 
That article prescribes that any Chinese offenders, being 
in the Colony of Hongkong, or on board a British man-of- 
war, or on board a British merchant ship, are not to be 
seized by the Chinese authorities themselves, but should 
be demanded from the British Consul, and by him be hand- 
ed over to the native authorities. Chinese pirates were 
seized in the River of Canton on board the lorcha Arrow, 
by Chinese officers, without the intervention of the Brit- 
ish Consul. The question arises, therefore, was the Arrow 
a British vessel? It was, as Lord Derby shows, 

"a vessel Chinese built, Chinese captured, Chinese sold, Chinese 
bought and manned, and Chinese owned." 

By what means, then, was this Chinese vessel convert- 
ed into a British merchantman? By purchasing at Hong- 
kong a British register or sailing licence. The legality of 
this register relies upon an ordinance of the local legisla- 
tion of Hongkong, passed in March, 1855. That ordinance 
not only infringed the treaty existing between England 
and China, but annulled the law of England herself. It was, 
therefore, void and null. Some semblance of English legal- 
ity it could but receive from the Merchant Shipping Act, 
which, however, was passed only two months after the is- 
sue of the ordinance. And even with the legal provisions 
of that act it had never been brought into consonance. The 
ordinance, therefore, under which the lorcha Arrow re- 
ceived its register, was so much waste paper. But even 
according to this worthless paper the Arrow had forfeited 
its protection by the infringement of the provisions pre- 
scribed, and the expiration of its licence. This point is con- 
ceded by Sir J. Bowring himself. But then, it is said, wheth- 
er or not the Arrow was an English vessel, it had, at all 


events, hoisted the English flag, and that flag was insulted. 
Firstly, if the flag was flying, it was not legally flying. 
But was it flying at all? On this point there exists discrep- 
ancy between the English and Chinese declarations. The 
latter have, however, been corroborated by depositions, 
forwarded by the Consuls, of the master and crew of the 
Portuguese lorcha No. 83. With reference to these deposi- 
tions, The Friend of China^ of Nov. 13 states that "it is 
now notorious at Canton that the British flag had not been 
flying on board the lorcha for six days previous to its 
seizure." Thus falls to the ground the punctilio of honour, 
together with the legal case.* 

Lord Derby had in this speech the good taste altogether 
to forbear from his habitual waggishness, and thus to give 
his argument a strictly judicial character. No efforts, how- 
ever, on his part were wanted to impregnate his speech 
with a deep current of irony. The Earl of Derby, the chief 
of the hereditary aristocracy of England, pleading against 
the late Doctor, now Sir John Bowring, the pet disciple of 
Bentham; pleading for humanity against the professional 
humanitarian; defending the real interests of nations 
against the systematic utilitarian insisting upon a punctilio 
of diplomatic etiquette; appealing to the "vox populi — vox 
dei" against the greatest-benefit-of-the-greatest-number 55 
man; the descendant of the conquerors preaching peace 
where a member of the Peace Society 56 preached red-hot 
shell; a Derby branding the acts of the British navy as 
"miserable proceedings" and "inglorious operations," 
where a Bowring congratulates it upon cowardly outrages 
which met with no resistance, upon "its brilliant achieve- 
ments, unparalleled bravery, and splendid union of mil- 
itary skill and valour" — such contrasts were the more 
keenly satirical the less the Earl of Derby seemed to be 
aware of them. He had the advantage of that great his- 
torical irony which does not flow from the wit of indi- 

The manuscript ends here. — Ed. 


viduals, but from the humour of situations. The whole par- 
liamentary history of England has, perhaps, never exhib- 
ited such an intellectual victory of the aristocrat over the 

Lord Derby declared at the outset that he "should have 
to rely upon statements and documents exclusively fur- 
nished by the very parties whose conduct he was about to 
impugn," and that he was content "to rest his case upon 
these documents." Now it has been justly remarked that 
those documents, as laid before the public by the Govern- 
ment, would have allowed the latter to shift the whole re- 
sponsibility upon its subordinates. So much is this the case 
that the attacks made by the parliamentary adversaries of 
the Government were exclusively directed to Bowring and 
Co., and could have been endorsed by the home Govern- 
ment itself, without at all impairing its own position. I 
quote from his Lordship: 

"I do not wish to say anything disrespectful of Dr. Bowring. He 
may be a man of great attainments; but it appears to me that on 
the subject of his admission into Canton he is possessed with a 
perfect monomania (Hear, hear, and laughter). I believe he dreams 
of his entrance into Canton. I believe he thinks of it the first thing 
in the morning, the last thing at night, and in the middle of the night, 
if he happens to be awake (Laughter). I do not believe that he would 
consider any sacrifice too great, any interruption of commerce to be 
deplored, any bloodshed to be regretted, when put in the scale with 
the immense advantage to be derived from the fact that Sir J. Bow- 
ring had obtained an official reception in the Yamen* of Canton 

Next came Lord Lyndhurst: 

"Sir J. Bowring, who is a distinguished humanitarian as well as 
plenipotentiary (Laughter), himself admits the register is void, and 
that the lorcha was not entitled to hoist the English flag. Now, mark 
what he says: 'The vessel had no protection, but the Chinese do not 
know this. For God's sake do not whisper it to them.' He persevered, 
too, for he said in effect: We know the Chinese have not been guilty 
of any violation of treaty, but we will not tell them so; we will in- 

* Chinese mandarin's official residence. — Ed. 


sist upon reparation and a return of the men they have seized in a 
particular form. If the men were not returned in the form, what was 
to be the remedy? Why, to seize a junk — a war junk. If that was not 
sufficient, seize more, until we compelled them to submit, although 
we knew they had the right on their side and we had no justice on 
ours (Hear). Was there ever conduct more abominable, more fla- 
grant, in which — I will not say more fraudulent, but what is equal 
to fraud in our country — more false pretence has been put forward 
by a public man in the service of the British Government (Hear)? It 
is extraordinary that Sir J. Bowring should think he had the right 
of declaring war. I can understand a man in such a position having 
necessarily a power of carrying on defensive operations, but to carry 
on offensive operations upon such a ground — upon such a pretence — 
is one of the most extraordinary proceedings to be found in the 
history of the world. It is quite clear from the papers laid on the 
table, that from the first moment at which Sir J. Bowring was ap- 
pointed to the station he now fills, his ambition was to procure what 
his predecessors had completely failed to effect — namely, the entry 
within the walls of Canton. Bent only upon carrying this object of 
gaining admission within the walls of Canton into execution, he has, 
for no necessary purpose whatever, plunged the country into a war; 
and what is the result? Property, to the large amount of $1,500,000, 
belonging to British subjects, is now impounded in the City of Can- 
ton, and in addition to that our factories are burned to the ground, 
and all this is only owing to the mischievous policy of one of the 
most mischievous of men. 

" — But man, proud man, 

Dressed in a little brief authority, 

Most ignorant of what he's most assured, 

This glassy essence, — like an angry ape, 

Plays such fantastic tricks before high heaven 

As make the angels weep."* 

And, lastly, Lord Grey: 

"If your Lordships will refer to the papers you will find that 
when Sir J. Bowring applied for an interview with Commissioner 
Yeh, the Commissioner was ready to meet him, but he appointed for 
that purpose the house of the merchant Wu Hao-kuan, without the 
city. Sir J. Bowring's dignity would not allow him to go anywhere 
but to the official residence of the Commissioner. I expect, if no 
other result, at least the good result from the adoption of the reso- 
lution — the instant recall of Sir J. Bowring." 

* Shakespeare, Measure for Measure, Act II, Scene II. — Ed. 


Sir J. Bowring met with similar treatment at the hands 
of the Commons, and Mr. Cobden even opened his speech 
with a solemn repudiation of his "friend of twenty years' 

The literal quotations from the speeches of Lords Der- 
by, Lyndhurst and Grey prove that, to parry the attack, 
Lord Palmerston's Administration had only to drop Sir 
J. Bowring instead of identifying itself with that "distin- 
guished humanitarian." That it owed this facility of escape 
neither to the indulgence nor the tactics of his adver- 
saries, but exclusively to the papers laid before Parliament, 
will become evident from the slightest glance at the pa- 
pers themselves as well as the debates founded upon them. 

Can there remain any doubt as to Sir J. Bowring's "mo- 
nomania" with respect to his entrance into Canton? Is it 
not proved that that individual, as The London Times says, 
"has taken a course entirely out of his own head, without 
either advice from his superiors at home or any reference 
to their politics?" Why, then, should Lord Palmerston, at 
a moment when his Government is tottering, when his way 
is beset with difficulties of all sorts — financial difficulties, 
Persian war difficulties, secret-treaty difficulties, electoral 
reform difficulties, coalition difficulties — when he is con- 
scious that the eyes of the House are "upon him more earn- 
estly but less admiringly than ever before," why should he 
single out just that moment to exhibit, for the first time 
in his political life, an unflinching fidelity to another man 
and to a subaltern too — at the hazard of not only impairing 
still more his own position, but of completely breaking it 
up? Why should he push his new-fangled enthusiasm to 
such a point as to offer himself as the expiatory sacri- 
fice for the sins of a Dr. Bowring? Of course no man in his 
senses thinks the noble Viscount capable of any such ro- 
mantic aberrations. The line of policy he has followed up 
in this Chinese difficulty affords conclusive evidence of 
the defective character of the papers he has laid before 
Parliament. Apart from published papers there must exist 


secret papers and secret instructions which would go far 
to show that if Dr. Bowring was possessed of the "mo- 
nomania" of entering into Canton, there stood behind him 
the cool-headed chief of Whitehall 57 working upon his 
monomania and driving it, for purposes of his own, from 
the state of latent warmth into that of consuming fire. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 4962, March 16, 1857 

Karl Marx 

London, March 13, 1857 

"And stand between two churchmen, good my Lord; 
For on that ground I'll build a holy descant."* 

Palmerston does not exactly comply with the advice 
tendered by Buckingham to Richard III. He stands between 
the churchman on the one side, and the opium-smuggler 
on the other. While the Low Church bishops, whom the 
veteran impostor allowed the Earl of Shaftesbury, his 
kinsman, to nominate, vouch his "righteousness," the 
opium-smugglers, the dealers in "sweet poison for the 
age's tooth,"** vouch his faithful service to "commodity, 
the bias of the world."*** Burke, the Scotchman, was 
proud of the London "Resurrectionists." 58 So is Palmerston 
of the Liverpool "poisoners." These smooth-faced gentle- 
men are the worthy representatives of a town, the pedi- 
gree of whose greatness may be directly traced back to the 
slave-trade. Liverpool, otherwise not famous for poetical 
production, may at least claim the original merit of hav- 
ing enriched poetry with odes on the slave-trade. While 
Pindar commenced his hymn on the Olympian victors with 
the celebrated "Water is the best thing" (Ariston men hu- 

* Shakespeare, The Tragedy of King Richard III, Act III, Scene 
VII.— Ed. 

** Shakespeare, The Life and Death of King John, Act I, 
Scene I. — Ed. 
*** Ibid., Act II, Scene I.— Ed. 


dor),* a modern Liverpool Pindar might, therefore, be 
fairly expected to open his hymn on the Downing Street 
prize-fighters with the more ingenious exordium, "Opium 
is the best thing." 

Along with the holy bishops and the unholy opium-smug- 
glers, there go the large tea-dealers, for the greater part 
directly or indirectly engaged in the opium traffic, and, 
therefore, interested in oversetting the present treaties 
with China. They are, besides, actuated by motives of their 
own. Having in the past year ventured upon enormous 
speculations in tea, the prolongation of hostilities will at 
once enhance the huge stocks they hold, and enable them 
to postpone the large payments to their creditors at Can- 
ton. Thus, war will allow them to cheat at once their Brit- 
ish buyers and their Chinese sellers, and consequently real- 
ize their notions of "national glory" and "commercial in- 
terests." Generally the British manufacturers disagree from 
the tenets of this Liverpool catechism, upon the same lofty 
principle which puts in opposition the Manchester man, 
wanting low cotton prices, to the Liverpool gentleman, 
wanting high ones. During the first Anglo-Chinese war, 
extending from 1839 to 1842, the British manufacturers 
had flattered themselves with false hopes of marvellously 
extended exports. Yard by yard they had measured the 
cotton stuffs the Celestials were to be clothed in. Expe- 
rience broke the padlock Palmerstonian politicians had 
put upon their mind. From 1854 to 1857 the British manu- 
factured exports to China did not average more than 
£1,250,000 sterling, an amount frequently reached in years 
preceding the first war with China. 

"In fact," as Mr. Cobden, the spokesman of the British manufac- 
turers, stated in the House of Commons, "since 1842 we" (the United 
Kingdom) "have not added to our exports to China at all, at least 
as far as our manufactures are concerned. We have increased our 
consumption of tea; that is all." 

* From Pindar's First Olympian Ode. — Ed. 


Hence the broader views with which British manufac- 
turers, in contradistinction to British bishops, opium- 
smugglers, and tea-dealers, are able to take of Chinese pol- 
itics. If we pass over the tax-eaters and place-hunters who 
hang on the skirts of every administration, and the silly 
coffee-house patriots who believe "the nation to pluck up 
a heart" under Pam's auspices, we have in fact enumerated 
all the bona fide partisans of Palmerston. Still we must 
not forget The London Times and Punch, the Grand Cophta 
and the Clown of the British press, 59 both of whom are 
riveted to the present administration by golden and of- 
ficial links, and, consequently, write up a factitious enthu- 
siasm for the hero of the Canton massacres. But then, it 
ought to be considered that the vote of the House of 
Commons betokened a rebellion against Palmerston as 
much as against The Times. The imminent elections have, 
therefore, to decide not only whether Palmerston shall en- 
gross all the power of the State, but also whether The 
Times shall monopolize the whole manufacture of public 

Upon which principle, then, is Palmerston likely to ap- 
peal to the general election? Extension of trade with Chi- 
na? But he has destroyed the very port upon which that 
commerce depended. For a more or less protracted period 
he has transferred it from the sea to the land, from the 
five ports to Siberia, from England to Russia. In the Unit- 
ed Kingdom he has raised the duty upon tea — the greatest 
bar against the extension of the Chinese trade. The safety 
of the British merchant-adventurers? But the Blue Book, 
entitled "Correspondence Respecting Insults in China," 
laid upon the table of the Commons by the Ministry itself, 
proves that, since the last seven years, there occurred but 
six cases of insult, in two of which the English were the 
aggressors, while in the four others the Chinese authori- 
ties exerted themselves to the full satisfaction of the Brit- 
ish authorities in order to punish the offenders. If, then, 
the fortunes and the lives of the British merchants in Hong- 


kong, Singapore, etc., are at present endangered, their 
perils are conjured up by Palmerston himself. But the hon- 
our of the British flag! Palmerston has sold it for £50 
a piece to the smugglers of Hongkong, and stained it by 
the "wholesale massacre of helpless British customers." 
Yet, these pleas of extension of trade, safety of British 
merchant-adventurers, and honour of the British flag, are 
the only ones put up by the Government oracles which till 
now have addressed their constituents. They wisely refrain 
from touching any point of internal policy, as the cry of 
"no reform," and "more taxes," would not do. One mem- 
ber of the Palmerstonian Cabinet, Lord Mulgrave, the House- 
hold Treasurer, tells his constituents that he has "no 
political theories to propound." Another one, Bob Lowe, 
in his Kidderminster address, girds at the ballot, the ex- 
tension of suffrage, and similar "humbug." A third one, 
Mr. Labouchere, the same clever fellow who defended the 
Canton bombardment on the plea that, should the Com- 
mons brand it as unjust, the English people must prepare 
to pay a bill of about £5,000,000 to the foreign merchants 
whose Canton property had been destroyed — this same La- 
bouchere, in his appeal to his Taunton constituents, ig- 
nores politics altogether, simply resting his claims upon the 
high deeds of Bowring, Parkes and Seymour. 

The remark, then, of a British provincial paper, that Pal- 
merston has got, not only no "good cry for the hustings, 
but no cry at all," is perfectly true. Yet his case is by no 
means desperate. Circumstances are altogether altered 
since the vote of the Commons. The local outrage on Can- 
ton has led to a general war with China. There remains the 
question only, who is to carry on the war? The man who 
asserts that war to be just, is he not better enabled to 
push it on with vigour than his adversaries, getting in by 
passing sentence upon it? 

During his interregnum will Palmerston not embroil mat- 
ters to such a degree as to remain the indispensable 


Then the mere fact of there taking place an electoral 
battle, will it not decide the question in his favour? For 
the greater part of the British electoral bodies, as at pres- 
ent constituted, an electoral battle means a battle be- 
tween Whigs and Tories. Now, as he is the actual head of 
the Whigs, as his overthrow must bring the Tories in, 
will not the greater part of the so-called Liberals vote for 
Palmerston in order to oust Derby? Such are the true con- 
siderations upon which the Ministerialists rely. If their 
calculations prove correct, Palmerston's dictatorship, till 
now silently suffered, would be openly proclaimed. The 
new Parliamentary majority would owe their existence to 
the explicit profession of passive obedience to the Min- 
ister. A coup d'etat might then, in due course of time, fol- 
low Palmerston's appeal from the Parliament to the peo- 
ple, as it followed Bonaparte's appeal from the Assemblee 
Nationale to the nation. That same people might then learn 
to their damage that Palmerston is the old colleague of the 
Castlereagh-Sidmouth Cabinet, who gagged the press, 
suppressed public meetings, suspended the Habeas Cor- 
pus Act, made it legal for the Cabinet to imprison and ex- 
pulse at pleasure, and lastly butchered the people at Man- 
chester for protesting against the Corn Laws. 60 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New- York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 4975, March 31, 1857 

Karl Marx 


A few years since, when the frightful system of torture 
in India was exposed in Parliament, Sir James Hogg, one 
of the Directors of the Most Honourable East India Com- 
pany, boldly asserted that the statements made were un- 
founded. Subsequent investigation, however, proved them 
to be based upon facts which should have been well known 
to the Directors, and Sir James had left him to admit either 
"wilful ignorance" or "criminal knowledge" of the horrible 
charge laid at the Company's doors. Lord Palmerston, the 
present Premier of England, and the Earl of Clarendon, 
the Minister of Foreign Affairs, seem just now to be 
placed in a similar unenviable position. At the late Lord 
Mayor's banquet, the Premier said, in his speech, while 
attempting to justify the atrocities committed upon the 

"If the Government had, in this case, approved of unjustifiable 
proceedings, they had undoubtedly followed a course which deserved 
to incur the censure of Parliament and of the country. We were 
persuaded, however, on the contrary, that these proceedings were 
necessary and vital. We felt that a great wrong had been inflicted 
on our country. We felt that our fellow-countrymen in a distant part 
of the globe had been exposed to a series of insults, outrages and 
atrocities which could not be passed over in silence (Cheers). We 
felt that the treaty rights of this country had been broken, and that 
those locally charged with the defence of our interests in that quar- 
ter of the world were not only justified, but obliged to resent those 
outrages, so far as the power in their hands would enable them to 
do so. We felt that we should be betraying the trust which the 

8 — 12 113 

citizens of the country had reposed in us if we had not approved of 
the proceedings which we thought to be right, and which we, if 
placed in the same circumstances, should have deemed it our duty 
to have pursued (Cheers)." 

Now, however much the people of England and the 
world at large may be deceived by such plausible state- 
ments, his Lordship himself certainly does not believe 
them to be true, or if he does, he has betrayed a wilful 
ignorance almost as unjustifiable as "criminal knowledge." 
Ever since the first report reached us of English hostilities 
in China, the Government journals of England and a por- 
tion of the American press have been heaping wholesale 
denunciations upon the Chinese — sweeping charges of 
violation of treaty obligations — insults to the English flag 
— degradation of foreigners residing on their soil, and the 
like; yet not one single distinct charge has been made or 
a single fact instanced in support of these denunciations, 
save the case of the lorcha Arrow, and, with respect to this 
case, the circumstances have been so misrepresented and 
glossed over by Parliamentary rhetoric as utterly to mis- 
lead those who really desire to understand the merits of 
the question. 

The lorcha Arrow was a small Chinese vessel, manned 
by Chinese, but employed by some Englishmen. A licence 
to carry the English flag had been temporarily granted to 
her, which licence had expired prior to the alleged "in- 
sult." She is said to have been used to smuggle salt, and 
had on board of her some very bad characters — Chinese 
pirates and smugglers — whom, being old offenders against 
the laws, the authorities had long been trying to arrest. 
While lying at anchor in front of Canton — with sails furled, 
and no flag whatever displayed — the police became 
aware of the presence on board of these offenders, and ar- 
rested them — precisely such an act as would have taken 
place here, had the police along our wharves known that 
river-thieves and smugglers were secreted in a native or 
foreign vessel near by. But, as this arrest interfered with 


the business of the owners, the captain went to the English 
Consul and complained. The Consul, a young man recently 
appointed, and, as we are informed, a person of a quick 
and irritable disposition, rushes on board in propria per- 
sona, gets into an excited parley with the police, who have 
only discharged their simple duty, and consequently fails 
in obtaining satisfaction. Thence he rushes back to the 
Consulate, writes an imperative demand for restitution 
and apology to the Governor-General of the Kwangtung 
Province, and a note to Sir John Bowring and Admiral Sey- 
mour at Hongkong, representing that he and his country's 
flag have been insulted beyond endurance, and intimating 
in pretty broad terms that now is the time for a demon- 
stration against Canton, such as had long been waited for. 
Gov. Yeh politely and calmly responds to the arrogant 
demands of the excited young British Consul. He states 
the reason of the arrest, and regrets that there should 
have been any misunderstanding in the matter; at the 
same time he unqualifiedly denies the slightest intention 
of insulting the English flag, and sends back the men, 
whom, although lawfully arrested, he desired not to detain 
at the expense of so serious a misunderstanding. But this 
is not satisfactory to Mr. Consul Parkes — he must have an 
official apology, and a more formal restitution, or Gov. 
Yeh must abide the consequences. Next arrives Admiral 
Seymour with the British fleet, and then commences an- 
other correspondence, dogmatic and threatening on the 
side of the Admiral; cool, unimpassioned, polite, on the 
side of the Chinese official. Admiral Seymour demands a 
personal interview within the walls of Canton. Gov. Yeh 
says this is contrary to all precedent, and that Sir George 
Bonham had agreed that it should not be required. 61 He 
would readily consent to an interview, as usual, outside 
the walled town if necessary, or meet the Admiral's wishes 
in any other way not contrary to Chinese usage and 
hereditary etiquette. But this did not suit the bellicose rep- 
resentative of British power in the East. 

8* 115 

Upon the grounds thus briefly stated— and the official 
accounts now before the people of England fully bear out 
this statement — this most unrighteous war has been 
waged. The unoffending citizens and peaceful tradesmen of 
Canton have been slaughtered, their habitations battered 
to the ground, and the claims of humanity violated, on the 
flimsy pretence that "English life and property are endan- 
gered by the aggressive acts of the Chinese!" The British 
Government and the British people — at least those who 
have chosen to examine the question — know how false 
and hollow are such charges. An attempt has been made 
to divert investigation from the main issue, and to im- 
press the public mind with the idea that a long series of 
injuries, preceding the case of the lorcha Arrow, form of 
themselves a sufficient casus belli. But these sweeping as- 
sertions are baseless. The Chinese have at least ninety- 
nine injuries to complain of to one on the part of the 

How silent is the press of England upon the outrageous 
violations of the treaty daily practised by foreigners living 
in China under British protection! We hear nothing of the 
illicit opium trade, which yearly feeds the British treasury 
at the expense of human life and morality. We hear noth- 
ing of the constant bribery of sub-officials, by means of 
which the Chinese Government is defrauded of its right- 
ful revenue on incoming and outgoing merchandise. We 
hear nothing of the wrongs inflicted "even unto death" 
upon misguided and bonded emigrants sold to worse than 
slavery on the coast of Peru and into Cuban bondage. We 
hear nothing of the bullying spirit often exercised against 
the timid nature of the Chinese, or of the vice introduced 
by foreigners at the ports open to their trade. We hear 
nothing of all this and of much more, first, because the 
majority of people out of China care little about the so- 
cial and moral condition of that country; and secondly, 
because it is the part of policy and prudence not to agitate 
topics where no pecuniary advantage would result. Thus, 


the English people at home, who look no farther than the 
grocer's where they buy their tea, are prepared to swallow 
all the misrepresentations which the Ministry and the Press 
choose to thrust down the public throat. 

Meanwhile, in China, the smothered fires of hatred kin- 
dled against the English during their opium war have burst 
into a flame of animosity, which no tenders of peace and 
friendship will be very likely to quench. 

Written about March 22, 1857 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 4984, April 10, 1857 

Frederick Engels 


Should the quarrel which the English have picked with 
the Chinese be pushed to extremity, it may be expected to 
end in a new military and naval expedition similar to that 
undertaken in 1841-42, on the basis of the opium quarrel. 
The easy success of the English on that occasion, in ex- 
torting an immense sum of silver from the Chinese, will be 
apt to recommend a new experiment of the same sort to 
a people who, with all their horror of our filibustering pro- 
pensities, still retain, not less than ourselves, not a little 
of the old plundering buccaneering spirit which distin- 
guished our common ancestors of the 16th and 17th cen- 
turies. Yet remarkable changes in the position of things 
in China, which have occurred since that former success- 
ful plundering inroad on behalf of the opium trade, make 
it very doubtful whether a similar expedition at the present 
day would be attended by anything like a similar result. 
The new expedition would doubtless set out, like that of 
1841-42, from the Island of Hongkong. That expedition 
consisted of a fleet of two seventy-fours, eight frigates, 
a great number of sloops and brigs-of-war, twelve steam- 
ers, and forty transports, having on board a military force, 
marines included, amounting to fifteen thousand men. The 
new expedition would hardly be attempted with any 
smaller force; indeed, some of the considerations we are 
about to state would indicate the policy of making it 
much larger. 


The expedition of 1841-42, sailing from Hongkong on 
the 21st of August, 1841, took possession first of Amoy, 
and then, on the 1st of October, of the Island of Chusan, 
which they made the base of their future operations. The 
object of these operations was to penetrate into and as- 
cend the great central river Yangtze Kiang as far as the 
City of Nanking, about two hundred miles from its mouth. 
The river Yangtze Kiang divides China into two quite 
distinct portions — the North and the South. About forty 
miles below Nanking the Imperial Canal enters and 
crosses the great river, affording the means of commercial 
intercourse between the northern and southern provinces. 
The theory of the campaign was that the possession of 
this important communication would be a fatal thing for 
Peking, and would force the Emperor to make peace forth- 
with. On the 13th of June, 1842, the English forces, under 
Sir Henry Pottinger, appeared off Wusung, at the entrance 
of the small river of that name. This river flows from the 
south, entering the estuary of the Yangtze Kiang very near 
its debouch into the Yellow Sea. The mouth of the Wusung 
River forms the harbour of Shanghai, situated a short 
distance up. The banks of the Wusung were covered with 
batteries, all of which were stormed and carried without 
difficulty. A column of the invading force then marched 
on Shanghai, which surrendered without any attempt at 
resistance. But, though little resistance was as yet expe- 
rienced from the peaceful and timid inhabitants on the 
banks of the Yangtze Kiang, who, after a prolonged peace 
of nearly two hundred years, had now their first experi- 
ence of war, the estuary itself, and the approach to it from 
the sea, were found to present great impediments. The 
broad estuary of the Yangtze Kiang enters the sea from 
between shores half covered with mud, and hardly discern- 
ible, as the sea for many leagues off is a muddy yellow, 
whence comes its name. Ships intending to enter the 
Yangtze Kiang are obliged to move cautiously along the 
southern shore, keeping the lead constantly going, in or- 


der to avoid the bars of movable sand with which the ap- 
proach is impeded. These banks extend up the estuary as 
high as the upper end of the great Island of Chungming, 
which lies midway in it and divides it into two channels. 
Above this island, which is some thirty miles long, the 
shores begin to show themselves above the water, but the 
course of the channel becomes very serpentine. The tide 
flows up as far as Chingkiang-fu, about half way to Nan- 
king, and where, in fact, what has hitherto been an estuary 
or arm of the sea, first takes on, for ascending vessels, 
the character of a river. Before making this point, the 
English fleet met with some serious difficulties. It took 
them fifteen days to make the distance of eighty miles 
from their anchorage at Chusan. Near the Island of Chung- 
ming several of the larger ships ran aground, but succeed- 
ed in getting off by the help of the rising tide. Having 
conquered these difficulties and approached the City of 
Chingkiang, the English found abundant proof that, how- 
ever deficient the Tartar-Chinese soldiers might be in 
military skill, they were not lacking in courage and spirit. 
These Tartar soldiers, who were only fifteen hundred in 
number, fought with the utmost desperation, and were 
killed to a man. Before they marched to the battle, as if 
anticipating the result, they strangled or drowned all their 
women and children, great numbers of whose dead bodies 
were afterward drawn from the wells into which they had 
been thrown. The Commander-in-Chief, seeing that the 
day was lost, set fire to his house and perished in the 
flames. The English lost a hundred and eighty-five men in 
the attack — a loss which they revenged by the most hor- 
rible excesses in sacking the town — the war having been 
conducted by the English throughout in a spirit of brutal 
ferocity, which was a fitting counterpart to the spirit of 
smuggling cupidity in which it had originated. Had the in- 
vaders met with a similar resistance everywhere they 
never would have reached Nanking. But such was not the 
case. The City of Kuachou, on the opposite side of the 


river, submitted and paid a ransom of three millions of 
dollars, which the English freebooters of course pocketed 
with immense satisfaction. 

Above this point, the channel of the river had a depth 
of thirty fathoms, and, so far as the bottom was con- 
cerned, the navigation became easy, but at some points the 
current ran with great swiftness, not less than six and 
seven miles an hour. There was nothing, however, to pre- 
vent ships-of-the-line from ascending to Nanking, under 
the walls of which the English at length cast anchor on 
the 9th of August. The effect thus produced was exactly 
what had been anticipated. The Emperor* was frightened 
into signing the treaty of the 29th of August, the pretend- 
ed violation of which is now made the occasion of new 
demands which threaten a new war. 

That new war, should it occur, will probably be con- 
ducted on the model of the former one. But there are 
several reasons why the English could not anticipate a 
similar easy success. The experience of that war has not 
been lost on the Chinese. In the recent military operations 
in Canton River they have exhibited such improved skill 
in gunnery and the art of defence as to lead to the suspi- 
cion of their having Europeans among them. In every- 
thing practical, and war is eminently practical, the Chinese 
far surpass all the Orientals, and there is no doubt that 
in military matters the English will find them apt scholars. 
Again, it is likely that the English may encounter artificial 
obstacles to the ascent of the Yangtze Kiang, should they 
again attempt it, such as do not appear to have been met 
with on the former occasion. But, — what is the most se- 
rious consideration of all — the reoccupation of Nanking 
cannot be supposed to be attended with anything like the 
same terror and alarm to the Imperial Court at Peking 
which it caused on the former occasion. Nanking, for a 
considerable period past, as well as large portions of the 

Tao Kuang.— Ed. 


surrounding districts, has been in possession of the rebels, 
one or more of whose chiefs make that city their head- 
quarters. In this state of the case its occupation by 
the English might be rather agreeable to the Emperor 
than otherwise. They might do him good service in driv- 
ing the rebels from a city which, when they had got it, 
might prove a possession rather difficult, troublesome 
and dangerous to keep, and which, as recent experience 
has shown, may be held by a hostile power without any 
immediately fatal results to Peking or the Imperial rule. 

Written at the beginning Printed according to the text 

of April, 1857 of the newspaper 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 4990, April 17, 1857 

Frederick Engels 

London, May 22, 1857 

The English have just concluded an Asiatic war, and 
are entering upon another. 62 The resistance offered by the 
Persians, and that which the Chinese have so far opposed 
to British invasion, form a contrast worth our attention. 
In Persia, the European system of military organization 
has been engrafted upon Asiatic barbarity; in China, the 
rotting semi-civilization of the oldest State in the world 
meets the Europeans with its own resources. Persia has 
been signally defeated, while distracted, half-dissolved 
China has hit upon a system of resistance which, if fol- 
lowed up, will render impossible repetition of the trium- 
phal marches of the first Anglo-Chinese war. 

Persia was in a state similar to that of Turkey during 
the war of 1828-29 against Russia. English, French, Rus- 
sian officers had in turns tried their hands at the organi- 
zation of the Persian army. One system had succeeded an- 
other, and each in its turn had been thwarted by the jeal- 
ousy, the intrigues, the ignorance, the cupidity and cor- 
ruption of the Orientals whom it was to form into Euro- 
pean officers and soldiers. The new regular army had 
never had an opportunity of trying its organization and 
strength in the field. Its only exploits had been confined 
to a few campaigns against Kurds, Turcomans and Af- 
ghans, where it served as a sort of nucleus or reserve to 
the numerous irregular cavalry of Persia. The latter did 



most of the actual fighting; the regulars had generally 
but to impose upon the enemy by the demonstrative ef- 
fect of their seemingly formidable arrays. At last, the war 
with England broke out. 

The English attacked Bushire, and met with a gallant 
though ineffective resistance. But the men who fought at 
Bushire were not regulars; they were composed of the 
irregular levies of the Persian and Arab inhabitants of 
the cost. The regulars were only concentrating, some sixty 
miles off, in the hills. At last they advanced. The Anglo- 
Indian army met them half way; and, though the Persians 
used their artillery with credit to themselves, and formed 
their squares on the most approved principles, a single 
charge of one single Indian cavalry regiment swept the 
whole Persian army, guards and line, from the field. And 
to know what these Indian regular cavalry are considered 
to be worth in their own service, we have only to refer 
to Capt. Nolan's book on the subject. They are, among 
Anglo-Indian officers, considered worse than useless, and 
far inferior to the irregular Anglo-Indian cavalry. Not a 
single action can Capt. Nolan find where they were cred- 
itably engaged. And yet, these were the men, six hundred 
of whom drove ten thousand Persians before them! Such 
was the terror spread among the Persian regulars that 
never since have they made a stand anywhere — the artil- 
lery alone excepted. At Mohammerah, they kept out of 
harm's way, leaving the artillery to defend the batteries, 
and retired as soon as these were silenced; and when, on 
a reconnaissance, the British landed three hundred rifle- 
men and fifty irregular horse, the whole of the Persian 
host marched off, leaving baggage, stores and guns in the 
possession of the — victors you cannot call them — the in- 

All this, however, neither brands the Persians as a na- 
tion of cowards, nor condemns the introduction of Euro- 
pean tactics among Orientals. The Russo-Turkish wars 
of 1806-12 and 1828-29 offer plenty of such examples. The 


principal resistance offered to the Russians was made by 
the irregular levies both from the fortified towns and 
from the mountain provinces. The regulars, wherever they 
showed themselves in the open field, were at once upset 
by the Russians, and very often ran away at the first shot; 
while a single company of Arnaut* irregulars, in a ravine 
at Varna, successfully Opposed the Russian siege opera- 
tions for weeks together. Yet, during the late war, the 
Turkish regular army have defeated the Russians in every 
single engagement from Oltenitza and Cetata to Kars and 
to Ingur. 

The fact is that t]ip jptrnrinrtinn n f European military 
organization with barbaric nations is far from being com - 
pleted when the new army has been subdivided, equipped 
and drilled after the European fashion. That is merely the 
first step toward i t. Nor will the enactment of some Euro- 
pean military code suffice; it will no more ensure Euro- 
pean discipline than a European set of drill-regulations 
will produce, by itself, European tactics and strategy. The 
main point, and at the sa me time the main difficulty, is 
the creation of a body ot officers and sergeants, educate d 
on the modern European system, totally freed from the 
old national prejudices and reminiscences in military mat - 
ters, and fit to inspire life into the new formation. This 
requires a long time, and is sure to meet with the most 
obstinate opposition from Oriental ignorance, imp atience- 
prejudice, and the vicissitudes of fortune and favour in - 
herent to Eastern courts. A Sultan or Shah is but too apt 
- to consider his army equal to anything as soon as the men 
can defile in parade, wheel, deploy and form column 
without getting into hopeless disorder. And as to military 
schools, their fruits are so slow in ripening that under 
the instabilities of Eastern governments they can scarcely 
ever be expected to show any. Even in Turkey, the supply 
of educated officers is but scanty, and the Turkish army 

* Turkish name of the Albanians. — Ed. 


could not have done at all, during the late war, without 
the great number of renegades and the European officers 
in its ranks. 

The only arm which everywhere forms an exception is 
the artillery. Here the Orientals are so much at fault and 
so helpless that they have to leave the whole manage- 
ment to their European instructors. The consequence is that 
as in Turkey, so in Persia, the artillery was far ahead of 
the infantry and cavalry. 

That under these circumstances the Anglo-Indian army, 
the oldest of all Eastern armies organized on the Euro- 
pean system, the only one that is subject not to an East- 
ern, but an exclusively European government, and officered 
almost entirely by Europeans — that this army, support- 
ed by a strong reserve of British troops and a powerful 
navy, should easily disperse the Persian regulars, is but 
a matter of course. The reverse will do the Persians the 
more good the more signal it was. They will now see, as 
the Turks have seen before, that European dress and pa- 
rade-drill is no talisman in itself, and maybe, twenty years 
hence, the Persians will turn out as respectable as the 
Turks did in their late victories. 

The troops which conquered Bushire and Mohammerah 
will, it is understo od, be at once sent to Chin a. There they 
will nnd a dirrerent enemy. No attempts at European 
evolutions, but the irregular array of Asiatic masses, will 
oppose them there. Of these they no doubt will easily dis- 
pose; but what if the Chinese wage against them a nationa l 
war, and if barbarism be unscrupulous enough to use the 
only weapons which it knows how to wield? 

There is evidently a different spirit among the Chinese 
now to what they showed in the war of 1840 to 1842. 
Then, the people were quiet; they left the Emperor's sol- 
diers to fight the invaders, and submitted after a defeat 
with Eastern fatalism to the power of the enemy. But now, 
at least in the southern provinces, to which the contest 
has so far been confined, the mass of the people take an 


active, nay, a fanatical part in the struggle against the 
foreigners. They poison the bread of the European com- 
munity at Hongkong by wholesale, and with the coolest 
premeditation. (A few loaves have been sent to Liebig for 
examination. He found large quantities of arsenic pervad- 
ing all parts of them, showing that it had already been 
worked into the dough. The dose, however, was so strong 
that it must have acted as an emetic, and thereby counter- 
acted the effects of the poison.) They go with hidden arms 
on board trading steamers, and, when on the journey, 
massacre the crew and European passengers and seize the 
boat. They kidnap and kill every foreigner within their 
reach. The very coolies emigrating to foreign countries 
rise in mutiny, and as if by concert, on board every emi- 
grant ship, and fight for its possession, and, rather than 
surrender, go down to the bottom with it, or perish in its 
flames. Even out of China, the Chinese colonists, the most 
submissive and meek of subjects hitherto, conspire and 
suddenly rise in nightly insurrection, as at Sarawak; or, 
as at Singapore, are held down by main force and vigil- 
ance only. The piratical policy of the British Government 
has caused this universal outbreak of all Chinese against 
all foreigners, and marked it as a war of extermination. 
What is an army to do against a people resorting to 
such means of warfare? Where, how far, is it to penetrate 
into the enemy's country, how to maintain itself there? 
Civilization-mongers who throw hot shell on a defenceless 
city and add rape to murder, may call the system coward- 
ly, barbarous, atrocious; but what matters it to the 
Chinese if it be only successful? Since the British treat 
them as barbarians, they cannot deny to them the full 
benefit of their barbarism. If their kidnappings, surprises, 
midnight massacres are what we call cowardly, the 
civilization-mongers should not forget that according 
to their own showing they could not stand against 
European means of destruction with their ordinary means 
of warfare. 


In short, instead of moralizing on the horrible atroci ties 
of the Chinese, as the chivalrous English press does, we 
M ad better recognize that this is a war pro aris et focis , 
a popular war for the maintenance of Chinese nationality, 
with all its overbearing prejudice, stupidity, learned igno- 
rance and pedantic barbarism if you like, but yeta pop - 
ular war. And in a popular war the means used by the 
insurgent nation cannot be measured by the commonly 
recognized rules of regular warfare, nor by any other 
abstract standard, but by the degree of civilization only 
^attained by that insurgent nation. 

The English are this time placed in a difficult position. 
Thus far, the national Chinese fanaticism seems to extend 
no further than over those southern provinces which have 
not adhered to the great rebellion. Is the war to be con- 
fined to these? Then it would certainly lead to no result, 
no vital point of the Empire being menaced. At the same 
time, it would be a very dangerous war for the English 
if the fanaticism extends to the people of the interior. 
Canton may be totally destroyed and the coasts nibbled 
at in all possible points, but all the forces the British could 
bring together would not suffice to conquer and hold the 
two provinces of Kwangtung and Kwangsi. What, then, 
can they do further? The country north of Canton, as far 
as Shanghai and Nanking, is in the hands of the Chinese 
insurgents, whom it would be bad policy to offend; and 
north of Nanking the only point an attack on which might 
lead to a decisive result is Peking. But where is the army 
to form a fortified and garrisoned base of operations on 
the shore, to overcome every obstacle on the road, to 
leave detachments to secure the communications with the 
shore, and to appear in anything like formidable strength 
before the walls of a town, the size of London, a hundred 
miles from its landing place? On the other side, a success- 
ful demonstration against the capital would shake to its 
groundworks the very existence of the Chinese Empire — 


accelerate the upsetting of the Ching dynasty and pave 
the way, not for British, but for Russian progress. 

The new Anglo-Chinese war presents so many com- 
plications that it is utterly impossible to guess the turn 
it may take. For some months the want of troops, and for 
a still longer time the want of decision, will keep the Brit- 
ish pretty inactive except, perhaps, on some unimportant 
point, to which under actual circumstances Canton too 
may be said to belong. 

One thing is certain, that the death-hour of old China is 
rapidly drawing nigh. Civil war has already divided the 
South from the North of the Empire , and the Rebel King 
seems to be as secure from the Imperialists (if not from 
the intrigues of his own followers) at Nanking, as the 
Heavenly Emperor from the rebels at Peking. Canton car- 
ries on, so far, a sort of independent war with the English, 
and all foreigners in general; and while British and French 
fleets and troops flock to Hongkong, slowly but steadily 
the Siberian-line Cossacks advance their stanitzas from 
the Daurian mountains to the banks of the Amur, and 
the Russian marines close in by fortifications the splen- 
did harbours of Manchuria. The very fanaticism of the^ 
southern Chinese in their struggle against foreigners 
seems to mark a consciousness of the supreme danger in 
which old China is placed; and before many years pass 
away, we shall have to witness the death-struggle of the 
oldest empire in the world, and the opening day of a newj 
era for all Asia. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5032, June 5, '1857 


9 — 12 

Karl Marx 


The Roman divide et impera was the great rule by 
which Great Britain, for about one hundred and fifty 
years, contrived to retain the tenure of her Indian Em- 
pire. The antagonism of the various races, tribes, castes, 
creeds and sovereignties, the aggregate of which forms 
the geographical unity of what is called India, continued 
to be the vital principle of British supremacy. In later 
times, however, the conditions of that supremacy have un- 
dergone a change. With the conquest of Scinde and the 
Punjab, 64 the Anglo-Indian Empire had not only reached 
its natural limits, but it had trampled out the last vestiges 
of independent Indian States. All warlike native tribes 
were subdued, all serious internal conflicts were at an end, 
and the late incorporation of Oudh 65 proved satisfactorily 
that the remnants of the so-called independent Indian 
principalities exist on sufferance only. Hence a great 
change in the position of the East India Company. It no lon- 
ger attacked one part of India by the help of another part, 
but found itself placed at the head, and the whole of India 
at its feet. No longer conquering, it had become the con- ] 
queror. The armies at its disposition no longer had to 
extend its dominion, but only to maintain it. From soldiers 
they were converted into policemen; 200,000,000 natives 
being curbed by a native army of 200,000 men, officered 
by Englishmen, and that native army, in its turn, being 
kept in check by an English army numbering 40,000 only. 


On first view, it is evident that the allegiance of the In- 
dian people rests on the fidelity of the native army, in 
creating which the British rule simultaneously organized 
the first general centre of resistance which the Indian 
people was ever possessed of. How far that native army 
may be relied upon is clearly shown by its recent muti- 
nies, breaking out as soon as the war with Persia had 
almost denuded the Presidency of Bengal of its European 
soldiers. Before this there had been mutinies in the In- 
dian army, but the present revolt is distinguished by char- 
acteristic and fatal features. It is the first time that sepoy 
regiments have murdered their European officers; that 
Mussulmans and Hindus, renouncing their mutual an- 
tipathies, have combined against their common masters; 
that "disturbances beginning with the Hindus, have ac- 
tually ended in placing on the throne of Delhi a Moham- 
medan emperor;" that the mutiny has not been confined 
to a few localities; and lastly, that the revolt in the Anglo- 
Indian army has coincided with a general disaffection ex- 
hibited against English supremacy on the part of the great 
Asiatic nations, the revolt of the Bengal army being, be- 
yond doubt, intimately connected with the Persian and 
Chinese wars. 

The alleged cause of the dissatisfaction which began to 
spread four months ago in the Bengal army was the ap- 
prehension on the part of the natives lest the Government 
should interfere with their religion. The serving out of 
cartridges, the paper of which was said to have been 
greased with the fat of bullocks and pigs, and the compul- 
sory biting of which was, therefore, considered by the 
natives as an infringement of their religious prescriptions, 
gave the signal for local disturbances. On the 22d of Janu- 
ary an incendiary fire broke out in cantonments a short 
distance from Calcutta. On the 25th of February the 19th 
Native Regiment mutinied at Berhampore, the men ob- 
jecting to the cartridges served out to them. On the 31st 

9* 131 

of March that regiment was disbanded; at the end of 
March the 34th Sepoy Regiment, stationed at Barrack- 
pore, allowed one of its men to advance with a loaded 
musket upon the parade-ground in front of the line, and, 
after having called his comrades to mutiny, he was per- 
mitted to attack and wound the Adjutant and Sergeant- 
Major of his regiment. During the hand-to-hand conflict 
that ensued, hundreds of sepoys looked passively on, 
while others participated in the struggle, and attacked 
the officers with the butt ends of their muskets. Subse- 
quently that regiment was also disbanded. The month of 
April was signalized by incendiary fires in several canton- 
ments of the Bengal army at Allahabad, Agra, Ambala, by 
a mutiny of the 3d Regiment of Light Cavalry at Meerut, 
and by similar appearances of disaffection in the Madras 
and Bombay armies. At the beginning of May an emeute 
was preparing at Lucknow, the capital of Oudh, which 
was, however, prevented by the promptitude of Sir 
H. Lawrence. On the 9th of May the mutineers of the 3d 
Light Cavalry of Meerut were marched off to jail, to un- 
dergo the various terms of imprisonment to which they 
were sentenced. On the evening of the following day the 
troopers of the 3d Cavalry, together with the tv/o native 
regiments, the 11th and 20th, assembled upon the parade- 
ground, killed the officers endeavouring to pacify them, 
set fire to the cantonments, and slew all the Englishmen 
they were able to lay hands on. Although the British part 
of the brigade mustered a regiment of infantry, another 
of cavalry, and an overwhelming force of horse and foot 
artillery, they were not able to move until nightfall. Hav- 
ing inflicted but little harm on the mutineers, they al- 
lowed them to betake themselves to the open field and to 
throw themselves into Delhi, some forty miles distant 
from Meerut. There they were joined by the native garri- 
son, consisting of the 38th, 54th and 74th regiments of 
infantry, and a company of native artillery. The British 
officers were attacked, all Englishmen within reach of the 


rebels were murdered, and the heir* of the late Mogul** 
of Delhi proclaimed King of India. Of the troops sent to 
the rescue of Meerut, where order had been re-established, 
six companies of native sappers and miners, who arrived 
on the 15th of May, murdered their commanding officer, 
Major Frazer, and made at once for the open country, pur- 
sued by troops of horse artillery and several of the 6th 
Dragoon Guards. Fifty or sixty of the mutineers were 
shot, but the rest contrived to escape to Delhi. At Ferozep- 
pore, in the Punjab, the 57th and 45th native infantry regi- 
ments mutinied, but were put down by force. Private 
letters from Lahore state the whole of the native troops 
to be in an undisguised state of mutiny. On the 19th of 
May, unsuccessful efforts were made by the sepoys sta- 
tioned at Calcutta to get possession of Fort St. William. 
Three regiments arrived from Bushire at Bombay were at 
once dispatched to Calcutta. 

In reviewing these events, one is startled by the con- 
duct of the British commander at Meerut — his late ap- 
pearance on the field of battle being still less incompre- 
hensible than the weak manner in which he pursued 
the mutineers. As Delhi is situated on the right and 
Meerut on the left bank of the Jumna — the two banks 
being joined at Delhi by one bridge only — nothing 
could have been easier than to cut off the retreat of the 

Meanwhile, martial law has been proclaimed in all the 
disaffected districts; forces, consisting of natives mainly, 
are concentrating against Delhi from the north, the east 
and the south; the neighbouring princes are said to have 
pronounced for the English; letters have been sent to 
Ceylon to stop Lord Elgin and Gen. Ashburnham's forces, 
on their way to China; and finally, 14,000 British troops 
were to be dispatched from England to India in about a 

* Bahadur Shah.— Ed. 
** Akbar II.— Ed. 


fortnight. Whatever obstacles the climate of India at the 
present season, and the total want of means of transpor- 
tation, may oppose to the movements of the British forces, 
the rebels at Delhi are very likely to succumb without any 
prolonged resistance. Yet, even then, it is only the pro- 
logue of a most terrible tragedy that will have to be 

Written on June 30, 1857 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5065, July 15, 1857 

Karl Marx 

London, July 17, 1857 

On the 8th of June, just a month had passed since Del- 
hi fell into the hands of the revolted sepoys and the pro- 
clamation by them of a Mogul Emperor.* Any notion, 
however, of the mutineers being able to keep the ancient 
capital of India against the British forces would be pre- 
posterous. Delhi is fortified only by a wall and a simple 
ditch, while the heights surrounding and commanding it 
are already in the possession of the English, who, even 
without battering the walls, might enforce its surrender 
in a very short period by the easy process of cutting off 
its supply of water. Moreover, a motley crew of mutineer- 
ing soldiers who have murdered their own officers, torn 
asunder the ties of discipline, and not succeeded in discov- 
ering a man upon whom to bestow the supreme command, 
are certainly the body least likely to organize a serious 
and protracted resistance. To make confusion more con- 
fused, the checkered Delhi ranks are daily swelling from 
the fresh arrivals of new contingents of mutineers from 
all parts of the Bengal Presidency, who, as if on a precon- 
certed plan, are throwing themselves into the doomed 
city. The two sallies which, on the 30th and 31st of May, 
the mutineers risked without the walls, and in both of 
which they were repulsed with heavy losses, seem to have 
proceeded from despair rather than from any feeling of 

* Bahadur Shah II.— Ed. 


self-reliance or strength. The only thing to be wondered 
at is the slowness of the British operations, which, to some 
degree, however, may be accounted for by the horrors 
of the season and the want of means of transport. Apart 
from Gen. Anson, the commander-in-chief, French letters 
state that about 4,000 European troops have already fall- 
en victims of the deathly heat, and even the English pa- 
pers confess that in the engagements before Delhi the men 
suffered more from the sun than from the shot of the ene- 
my. In consequence of its scanty means of conveyance, 
the main British force stationed at Ambala consumed 
about twenty-seven days in its march upon Delhi, so that 
it moved at the rate of about one and a half hours per day. 
A further delay was caused by the absence of heavy artil- 
lery at Ambala, and the consequent necessity of bringing 
over a siege-train from the nearest arsenal, which was as 
far off as Phillaur, on the further side of the Sutlej. 

With all that, the news of the fall of Delhi may be daily 
expected; but what next? If the uncontested possession 
by the rebels during a month of the traditionary centre 
of the Indian Empire acted perhaps as the most powerful 
ferment in completely breaking up the Bengal army, in 
spreading mutiny and desertion from Calcutta to the Pun- 
jab in the north, and to Rajputana in the west, and in 
shaking the British authority from one end of India to the 
other, no greater mistake could be committed than to sup- 
pose that the fall of Delhi, though it may throw conster- 
nation among the ranks of the sepoys, should suffice ei- 
ther to quench the rebellion, to stop its progress, or to 
restore the British rule. Of the whole native Bengal army, 
mustering about 80,000 men — composed of about 28,000 
Rajputs, 23,000 Brahmins,66 13,000 Mohammedans, 5,000 
Hindus of inferior castes, and the rest Europeans — 30,000 
have disappeared in consequence of mutiny, desertion, or 
dismission from the ranks. As to the rest of that army, 
several of the regiments have openly declared that they 
will remain faithful and support the British authority, ex- 


cepting in the matter in which the native troops are now 
engaged: They will not aid the authorities against the 
mutineers of the native regiments, and will, on the con- 
trary, assist their "bhaies" (brothers). The truth of this 
has been exemplified in almost every station from Calcut- 
ta. The native regiments remained passive for a time; but, 
as soon as they fancied themselves strong enough, they 
mutinied. An Indian correspondent of The London Times 
leaves no doubt as to the "loyalty" of the regiments which 
have not yet pronounced, and the native inhabitants who 
have not yet made common cause with the rebels. 

"If you read," he says, "that all is quiet, understand it to mean 
that the native troops have not yet risen in open mutiny; that the 
discontented part of the inhabitants are not yet in open rebellion; 
that they are either too weak, or fancy themselves to be so, or that 
they are waiting for a more fitting time. Where you read of the 
'manifestation of loyalty' in any of the Bengal native regiments, cav- 
alry or infantry, understand it to mean that one half of the regi- 
ments thus favourably mentioned only are really faithful; the other 
half are but acting a part, the better to find the Europeans off their 
guard, when the proper time arrives, or, by warding off suspicion, 
have it the more in their power to aid their mutinous companions." 

In the Punjab, open rebellion has only been prevented 
by disbanding the native troops. In Oudh, the English can 
only be said to keep Lucknow, the residency, while every- 
where else the native regiments have revolted, escaped 
with their ammunition, burned all the bungalows to the 
ground, and joined with the inhabitants who have taken 
up arms. Nov/, the real position of the English army is 
best demonstrated by the fact that it was thought neces- 
sary, in the Punjab as well as the Rajputana, to establish 
flying corps. This means that the English cannot depend 
either on their sepoy troops or on the natives to keep the 
communication open between their scattered forces. Like 
the French during the Peninsular war, they command on- 
ly the spot of ground held by their own troops, and the next 
neighbourhood domineered by that spot; while for com- 


munication between the disjoined members of their army 
they depend on flying corps, the action of which, most 
precarious in itself, loses naturally in intensity in the same 
measure that it spreads over a greater extent of space. 
The actual insufficiency of the British forces is further 
proved by the fact that, for removing treasures from dis- 
affected stations, they were constrained to have them 
conveyed by sepoys themselves, who, without any excep- 
tion, broke out in rebellion on the march, and absconded 
with the treasures confided to them. As the troops sent 
from England will, in the best case, not arrive before No- 
vember, and as it would be still more dangerous to draw 
off European troops from the presidencies of Madras and 
Bombay — the 10th Regiment of Madras sepoys, having 
already shown symptoms of disaffection — any idea of col- 
lecting the regular taxes throughout the Bengal Presi- 
dency must be abandoned, and the process of decomposi- 
tion be allowed to go on. Even if we suppose that the 
Burmese will not improve the occasion, that the Maharajah 
of Gwalior* will continue supporting the English, and the 
Ruler of Nepal,** commanding the finest Indian army, 
remain quiet; that disaffected Peshawar will not combine 
with the restless hill tribes, and that the Shah of Persia*** 
will not be silly enough to evacuate Herat — still, the whole 
Bengal Presidency must be reconquered, and the whole 
Anglo-Indian army remade. The cost of this enormous 
enterprise will altogether fall upon the British people. As 
to the notion put forward by Lord Granville in the House 
of Lords, of the East India Company being able to raise, 
by Indian loans, the necessary means, its soundness may 
be judged from the effects produced by the disturbed state 
of the north-western provinces on the Bombay money 

* Sindhia.— Ed. 
** Jang Bahadur. — Ed. 
*** Nasr-ed-Din.— Ed. 


market. An immediate panic seized the native capitalists, 
very large sums were withdrawn from the banks, govern- 
ment securities proved almost unsaleable, and hoarding 
to a great extent commenced not only in Bombay but in 
its environs also. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5082, August 4, 1857 

Karl Marx 

London, July 28, 1857 

The three hours' speech delivered last night in "The 
Dead House," by Mr. Disraeli, will gain rather than lose 
by being read instead of being listened to. For some time, 
Mr. Disraeli affects an awful solemnity of speech, an elabo- 
rate slowness of utterance and a passionless method of 
formality, which, however consistent they may be with 
his peculiar notions of the dignity becoming a Minister in 
expectance, are really distressing to his tortured audience. 
Once he succeeded in giving even commonplaces the point- 
ed appearance of epigrams. Now he contrives to bury 
even epigrams in the conventional dullness of respect- 
ability. An orator who, like Mr. Disraeli, excels in handling 
the dagger rather than in wielding the sword, should have 
been the last to forget Voltaire's warning, that "Tous les 
genres sont bons excepte le genre ennuyeux."* 

Beside these technical peculiarities which characterize 
Mr. Disraeli's present manner of eloquence, he, since Pal- 
merston's accession to power, has taken good care to de- 
prive his Parliamentary exhibitions of every possible in- 
terest of actuality. His speeches are not intended to car- 
ry his motions, but his motions are intended to prepare 
for his speeches. They might be called self-denying mo- 
tions, since they are so constructed as neither to harm 

* "All genres are good except the dull ones." Voltaire. Introduc- 
tion to the comedy The Prodigal Son. — Ed. 


the adversary, if carried, nor to damage the proposer, if 
lost. They mean, in fact, to be neither carried nor lost, 
but simply to be dropped. They belong neither to the acids 
nor to the alkalis, but are born neutrals. The speech is not 
the vehicle of action, but the hypocrisy of action affords 
the opportunity for a speech. Such, indeed, may be the 
classical and final form of parliamentary eloquence; but 
then, at all events, the final form of parliamentary elo- 
quence must not demur to sharing the fate of all final 
forms of parliamentarism — that of being ranged under the 
category of nuisances. Action, as Aristotle said, is the 
ruling law of the drama.* So it is of political oratory. 
Mr. Disraeli's speech on the Indian revolt might be pub- 
lished in the tracts of the Society for the Propagation of Use- 
ful Knowledge, or it might be delivered to a mechanics' 
institution, or tendered as a prize essay to the Academy 
of Berlin. This curious impartiality of his speech as to 
the place where, and the time when, and the occasion on 
which it was delivered, goes far to prove that it fitted 
neither place, time, nor occasion. A chapter on the decline 
of the Roman Empire which might read exceedingly well 
in Montesquieu or Gibbon would prove an enormous blun- 
der if put in the mouth of a Roman Senator, whose pecu- 
liar business it was to stop that very decline. It is true 
that in our modern parliaments, a part lacking neither 
dignity nor interest might be imagined of an independent 
orator who, while despairing of influencing the actual 
course of events, should content himself to assume a po- 
sition of ironical neutrality. Such a part was more or less 
successfully played by the late M. Garnier-Pages — not 
the Garnier-Pages of Provisional Government memory 
in Louis Philippe's Chamber of Deputies; but Mr. Disraeli, 
the avowed leader of an obsolete faction, would consider 
even success in this line as a supreme failure. The revolt 
of the Indian army afforded certainly a magnificent op- 

* Aristotle, Poetics, Chapter VI. — Ed. 


portunity for oratorical display. But, apart from his dreary 
manner of treating the subject, what was the gist of the 
motion which he made the pretext for his speech? It was 
no motion at all. He feigned to be anxious for becoming 
acquainted with two official papers, the one of which he 
was not quite sure to exist, and the other of which he was 
sure not immediately to bear on the subject in question. 
Consequently his speech and his motion lacked any point 
of contact save this, that the motion heralded a speech 
without an object, and that the object confessed itself not 
worth a speech. Still, as the highly elaborated opinion of 
the most distinguished out-of-office statesman of England, 
Mr. Disraeli's speech ought to attract the attention of 
foreign countries. I shall content myself with giving in his 
ipsissima verba a short analysis of his "considerations on 
the decline of the Anglo-Indian Empire." 

"Does the disturbance in India indicate a military mutiny, or is 
it a national revolt? Is the conduct of the troops the consequence 
of a sudden impulse, or is it the result of an organized conspiracy?" 

Upon these points Mr. Disraeli asserts the whole ques- 
tion to hinge. Until the last ten years, he affirmed, the 
British Empire in India was founded on the old principle 
of divide et impera — but that principle was put into action 
by respecting the different nationalities of which India 
consisted, by avoiding to tamper with their religion, and 
by protecting their landed property. The sepoy army 
served as a safety-valve to absorb the turbulent spirits of 
the country. But of late years a new principle has been 
adopted in the government of India — the principle of de- 
stroying nationality. The principle has been realized by the 
forcible destruction of native princes, the disturbance of 
the settlement of property, and the tampering with the 
religion of the people. In 1848 the financial difficulties of 
the East India Company had reached that point that it be- 
came necessary to augment its revenues one way or the 
other. Then a minute in Council was published, in which 


was laid down the principle, almost without disguise, that 
the only mode by which an increased revenue could be 
obtained was by enlarging the British territories at the 
expense of the native princes. Accordingly, on the death 
of the Rajah of Satara,* his adoptive heir was not acknow- 
ledged by the East India Company, but the Raj absorbed 
in its own dominions. From that moment the system of 
annexation was acted upon whenever a native prince died 
without natural heirs. The principle of adoption — the very 
corner-stone of Indian society — was systematically set 
aside by the Government. Thus were forcibly annexed to 
the British Empire the Rajs of more than a dozen independ- 
ent princes from 1848-54. In 1854 the Raj of Berar, which 
comprised 80,000 square miles of land, a population from 
4,000,000 to 5,000,000, and enormous treasures, was for- 
cibly seized. Mr. Disraeli ends the list of forcible annexa- 
tions with Oudh, which brought the East Indian Govern- 
ment in collision not only with the Hindus, but also with 
the Mohammedans. Mr. Disraeli then goes on showing 
how the settlement of property in India was disturbed by 
the new system of government during the last ten years. 

"The principle of the law of adoption," he says, "is not the pre- 
rogative of princes and principalities in India, it applies to every man 
in Hindustan who has landed property, and who professes the Hindu 

I quote a passage: 

"The great feudatory, or jagirdar, who holds his lands by public 
service to his lord; and the enamdar, who holds his land free of all 
land-tax, who corresponds, if not precisely, in a popular sense, at 
least, with our freeholder 07 — both of these classes — classes most nu- 
merous in India — always, on the failure of their natural heirs, find in 
this principle the means of obtaining successors to their estates. 
Those classes were all touched by the annexation of Satara,, they 
were touched by the annexation of the territories of the ten infe- 
rior but independent princes to whom I have already alluded, and 
they were more than touched, they were terrified to the last degree, 

Appa Sahib. — Ed. 


when the annexation of the Raj of Berar took place. What man was 
safe? What feudatory, what freeholder who had not a child of 
his own loins was safe throughout India? (Hear, hear.) These were 
not idle fears; they were extensively acted upon and reduced to 
practice. The resumption of jagirs and of enams commenced for the 
first time in India. There have been, no doubt, impolitic moments 
when attempts have been made to inquire into titles, but no one 
had ever dreamt of abolishing the law of adoption; therefore, no au- 
thority, no government had ever been in a position to resume jagirs 
and enams the holders of which had left no natural heirs. Here was 
a new source of revenue; but while all these things were acting upon 
the minds of these classes of Hindus, the Government took another 
step to disturb the settlement of property, to which I must now call 
the attention of the House. The House is aware, no doubt, from 
reading the evidence taken before the Committee of 1853, that there 
are great portions of the land of India which are exempt from the 
land-tax. Being free from land-tax in India is far more than equiva- 
lent to freedom from the land-tax in this country, for, speaking gen- 
erally and popularly, the land-tax in India is the whole taxation of 
the State. 

"The origin of these grants is difficult to penetrate, but they are 
undoubtedly of great antiquity. They are of different kinds. Beside 
the private freeholds, which are very extensive, there are large 
grants of land free from the land-tax with which mosques and 
temples have been endowed." 

On the pretext of fraudulent claims of exemption, the 
British Governor-General* took upon himself to examine 
the titles of the Indian landed estates. Under the new sys- 
tem, established in 1848, 

"that plan of investigating titles was at once embraced, as a 
proof of a powerful Government, a vigorous Executive, and most 
fruitful source of public revenue. Therefore commissions were is- 
sued to inquire into titles to landed estates in the Presidency of 
Bengal and adjoining country. They were also issued in the Presi- 
dency of Bombay, and surveys were ordered to be made in the 
newly-settled provinces, in order that these commissions might be 
conducted, when the surveys were completed, with due efficiency. 
Now there is no doubt that, during the last nine years, the action 
of these commissions of inquiry into the freehold property of landed 
estates in India has been going on at an enormous rate, and im- 
mense results have been obtained." 

* Dalhousie. — Ed. 


Mr. Disraeli computes that the resumption of estates 
from their proprietors is not less than £500,000 a year in 
the Presidency of Bengal; £370,000 in the Presidency of 
Bombay; £200,000 in the Punjab, etc. Not content with 
this one method of seizing upon the property of the na- 
tives, the British Government discontinued the pensions to 
the native grandees, to pay which it was bound by treaty. 

"This," says Mr. Disraeli, "is confiscation by a new means, but 
upon a most extensive, startling and shocking scale." 

Mr. Disraeli then treats the tampering with the religion 
of the natives, a point upon which we need not dwell. 
From all his premises he arrives at the conclusion that the 
present Indian disturbance is not a military mutiny, but a 
national revolt, of which the sepoys are the acting in- 
struments only. He ends his harangue by advising the Gov- 
ernment to turn their attention to the internal improve- 
ment of India, instead of pursuing its present course of 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5091, August 14, 1857 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

10 — 12 

Karl Marx 

London, September 4, 1857 

The outrages committed by the revolted sepoys in In- 
dia are indeed appalling, hideous, ineffable — such as one 
is prepared to meet only in wars of insurrection, of na- 
tionalities, of races, and above all of religion; in one word, 
such as respectable England used to applaud when per- 
petrated by the Vendeans on the "Blues," by the Spanish 
guerrillas on the infidel Frenchmen, by Serbians on their 
German and Hungarian neighbours, by Croats on Vien- 
nese rebels, by Cavaignac's Garde Mobile or Bonaparte's 
Decembrists on the sons and daughters of proletarian 
France. 68 However infamous the conduct of the sepoys, 
it is only the reflex, in a concentrated form, of England's 
own conduct in India, not only during the epoch of the 
foundation of her Eastern Empire, but even during the last 
ten years of a long-settled rule. To characterize that rule, 
it suffices to say that torture formed an organic institu- 
tion of its financial policy.* There is something in human 
history like retribution; and it is a rule of historical retri- 
bution that its instrument be forged not by the offended, 
but by the offender himself. 

The first blow dealt to the French monarchy proceeded 
from the nobility, not from the peasants. The Indian revolt 

* See this collection, pp. 151-56. — Ed. 


does not commence with the ryots, tortured, dishonoured 
and stripped naked by the British, but with the sepoys, 
clad, fed, petted, fatted and pampered by them. To find 
parallels to the sepoy atrocities, we need not, as some 
London papers pretend, fall back on the Middle Ages, nor 
even wander beyond the history of contemporary Eng- 
land. All we want is to study the first Chinese war, an 
event, so to say, of yesterday. The English soldiery then 
committed abominations for the mere fun of it; their pas- 
sions being neither sanctified by religious fanaticism nor 
exacerbated by hatred against an overbearing and con- 
quering race, nor provoked by the stern resistance of a 
heroic enemy. The violations of women, the spittings of 
children, the roastings of whole villages, were then mere 
wanton sports, not recorded by mandarins, but by British 
officers themselves. 

Even at the present catastrophe it would be an unmiti- 
gated mistake to suppose that all the cruelty is on the side 
of the sepoys, and all the milk of human kindness flows 
on the side of the English. The letters of the British of- 
ficers are redolent of malignity. An officer writing from 
Peshawar gives a description of the disarming of the 10th 
Irregular Cavalry for not charging the 55th Native Infan- 
try when ordered to do so. He exults in the fact that they 
were not only disarmed, but stripped of their coats and 
boots, and after having received 12d. per man, were 
marched down to the river side, and there embarked in 
boats and sent down the Indus, where the writer is delight- 
ed to expect every mother's son will have a chance of 
being drowned in the rapids. Another writer informs us 
that, some inhabitants of Peshawar having caused a night 
alarm by exploding little mines of gunpowder in honour 
of a wedding (a national custom), the persons concerned 
were tied up next morning, and "received such a flogging 
as they will not easily forget." News arrived from Pindee 
that three native chiefs were plotting. Sir John Lawrence 
replied by a message ordering a spy to attend to the 

10* 147 

meeting. On the spy's report, Sir John sent a second mes- 
sage, "Hang them." The chiefs were hanged. An officer 
in the civil service, from Allahabad, writes: "We have 
power of life and death in our hands, and we assure you 
we spare not." Another, from the same place: "Not a day 
passes but we string up from ten to fifteen of them (non- 
combatants)." One exulting officer writes: "Holmes is 
hanging them by the score, like a 'brick.' : Another, in 
allusion to the summary hanging of a large body of the 
natives: "Then our fun commenced." A third: "We hold 
court-martials on horseback, and every nigger we meet 
with we either string up or shoot." From Benares we are 
informed that thirty zemindars were hanged on the mere 
suspicion of sympathizing with their own countrymen, 
and whole villages were burned down on the same plea. 
An officer from Benares, whose letter is printed in The 
London Times, says: "The European troops have become 
fiends when opposed to natives." 

And then it should not be forgotten that, while the 
cruelties of the English are related as acts of martial vig- 
our, told simply, rapidly, without dwelling on disgusting 
details, the outrages of the natives, shocking as they are, 
are still deliberately exaggerated. For instance, the cir- 
cumstantial account first appearing in The Times, and 
then going the round of the London press, of the atrocities 
perpetrated at Delhi and Meerut, from whom did it pro- 
ceed? From a cowardly parson residing at Bangalore, My- 
sore, more than a thousand miles, as the bird flies, dis- 
tant from the scene of action. Actual accounts of Delhi 
evince the imagination of an English parson to be capable 
of breeding greater horrors than even the wild fancy of 
a Hindu mutineer. The cutting of noses, breasts, etc., in 
one word, the horrid mutilations committed by the sepoys, 
are of course more revolting to European feeling than the 
throwing of red-hot shell on Canton dwellings by a Sec- 
retary of the Manchester Peace Society, or the roasting of 
Arabs pent up in a cave by a French Marshal, 69 or the 


flaying alive of British soldiers by the cat-o'-nine-tails un- 
der drum-head Court-martial, or any other of the philan- 
thropical appliances used in British penitentiary colonies. 
Cruelty, like every other thing, has its fashion, changing 
according to time and place. Caesar, the accomplished 
scholar, candidly narrates how he ordered many thousand 
Gallic warriors to have their right hands cut off. Napoleon 
would have been ashamed to do this. He preferred dis- 
patching his own French regiments, suspected of republic- 
anism, to Santo Domingo, there to die of the blacks and 
the plague. 

The infamous mutilations committed by the sepoys 
remind one of the practices of the Christian Byzantine 
Empire, or the prescriptions of Emperor Charles V's crim- 
inal law, or the English punishments for high treason, 
as still recorded by Judge Blackstone. With Hindus, whom 
their religion has made virtuosi in the art of self -torturing, 
these tortures inflicted on the enemies of their race and 
creed appear quite natural, and must appear still more 
so to the English, who, only some years since, still 
used to draw revenues from the Juggernaut festivals, pro- 
tecting and assisting the bloody rites of a religion of 

The frantic roars of the "bloody old Times," as Cobbett 
used to call it— its playing the part of a furious character 
in one of Mozart's operas, who indulges in most melo- 
dious strains in the idea of first hanging his enemy, then 
roasting him, then quartering him, then spitting him, and 
then flaying him alive — its tearing the passion of revenge 
to tatters and to rags — all this would appear but silly if 
under the pathos of tragedy there were not distinctly per- 
ceptible the tricks of comedy. The London Times over- 
does its part, not only from panic. It supplies comedy 
with a subject even missed by Moliere, the Tartuffe of 
Revenge. What it simply wants is to write up the funds 
and to screen the Government. As Delhi has not, like the 


walls of Jericho, fallen before mere puffs of wind, John 
Bull is to be steeped in cries for revenge up to his very 
ears, to make him forget that his Government is respon- 
sible for the mischief hatched and the colossal dimensions 
it has been allowed to assume. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5119, September 16, 1857 

Karl Marx 


Our London correspondent, whose letter with regard to 
the Indian revolt we published yesterday,* very properly 
referred to some of the antecedents which prepared the 
way for this violent outbreak. We propose today to devote 
a moment to continuing that line of reflections, and to 
showing that the British rulers of India are by no means 
such mild and spotless benefactors of the Indian people 
as they would have the world believe. For this purpose, 
we shall resort to the official Blue Books on the subject 
of East India torture, v/hich were laid before the House 
of Commons during the sessions of 1856 and 1857. The 
evidence, it will be seen, is of a sort which cannot be 

We have first the report of the Torture Commission at 
Madras, which states its "belief in the general existence 
of torture for revenue purposes." It doubts whether 

"anything like an equal number of persons is annually subjected 
to violence on criminal charges, as for the fault of non-payment of 

It declares that there was 

"one thing which had impressed the Commission even more pain- 
fully than the conviction that torture exists; it is the difficulty of ob- 
taining redress which confronts the injured parties." 

The reasons for this difficulty given by the Commis- 
sioners are: 1. The distances which those who wish to 

* See this collection, pp. 146-50. — Ed. 


make complaints personally to the collector have to travel, 
involving expense and loss of time in attending upon his 
office; 2. The fear that applications by letter "will be re- 
turned with the ordinary endorsement of a reference to 
the tahsildar," the district police and revenue officer — that 
is, to the very man who, either in his person or through 
his petty police subordinates, has wronged him; 3. The 
inefficient means of procedure and punishment provided 
by law for officers of Government, even when formally 
accused or convicted of these practices. It seems that if 
a charge of this nature were proved before a magistrate, 
he could only punish by a fine of fifty rupees, or a month's 
imprisonment. The alternative consisted of handing over 
the accused "to the criminal judge to be punished by him, 
or committed for trial before the Court of the Circuit." 
The report adds that 

"these seem to be tedious proceedings, applicable only to one 
class of offences, abuse of authority — namely, in police charges, and 
totally inadequate to the necessities of the case." 

A police or revenue officer, who is the same person, as 
the revenue is collected by the police, when charged with 
extorting money, is first tried by the assistant collector; 
he then can appeal to the collector; then to the Revenue 
Board. This Board may refer him to the Government or 
to the civil courts. 

"In such a state of the law, no poverty-stricken ryot could con- 
tend against any wealthy revenue officer; and we are not aware of 
any complaints having been brought forward under these two regu- 
lations (of 1822 and 1828) by the people." 

Further, this extorting of money applies only to taking 
the public money, or forcing a further contribution from 
the ryot for the officer to put into his own pocket. There 
is, therefore, no legal means of punishment whatever for 
the employment of force in collecting the public revenue. 

The report from which these quotations are made ap- 
plies only to the Presidency of Madras; but Lord Dalhou- 


sie himself, writing, in September, 1855, to the Direc- 
tors,* says that 

"he has long ceased to doubt that torture in one shape or other 
is practised by the lower subordinates in every British province." 

The universal existence of torture as a financial insti- 
tution of British India is thus officially admitted, but the 
admission is made in such a manner as to shield the British 
Government itself. In fact, the conclusion arrived at by 
the Madras Commission is that the practice of torture is 
entirely the fault of the lower Hindu officials, while the 
European servants of the Government had always, how- 
ever unsuccessfully, done their best to prevent it. In an- 
swer to this assertion, the Madras Native Association 
presented, in January, 1856, a petition to Parliament, com- 
plaining of the torture investigation on the following 
grounds: 1. That there was scarcely any investigation at 
all, the Commission sitting only in the city of Madras, and 
for but three months, while it was impossible, except in 
very few cases, for the natives v/ho had complaints to 
make to leave their homes; 2. That the Commissioners did 
not endeavour to trace the evil to its source; had they 
done so, it would have been discovered to be in the very 
system of collecting the revenue; 3. That no inquiry was 
made of the accused native officials as to what extent their 
superiors were acquainted with the practice. 

"The origin of this coercion," say the petitioners, "is not with the 
physical perpetrators of it, but descends to them from the officials 
immediately their superiors, which latter again are answerable for 
the estimated amount of the collection to their European superiors, 
these also being responsible on the same head to the highest authori- 
ty of the Government." 

Indeed, a few extracts from the evidence on which the 
Madras Report professes to be founded, will suffice to 
refute its assertion that "no blame is due to Englishmen." 
Thus, Mr. W. D. Kohlhoff, a merchant, says: 

* Court of Directors of the East India Company-— Ed. 


"The modes of torture practised are various, and suitable to the 
fancy of the tahsildar or his subordinates, but whether any redress 
is received from higher authorities, it is difficult for me to tell, as all 
complaints are generally referred to the tahsildars for investigation 
and information." 

Among the cases of complaint from natives, we find 
the following: 

"Last year, as our peasanum (principal paddy or rice crops) failed 
for want of rain, we were unable to pay as usual. When the jama- 
bandi was made we claimed a remission on account of the losses, 
according to the terms of the agreement entered into in 1837, by us, 
when Mr. Eden was our collector. As this remission was not allowed, 
we refused to take our puttahs. The tahsildar then commenced to 
compel us to pay with great severity, from the month of June to 
August. I and others were placed in charge of persons who used to 
take us in the sun. There we were made to stoop and stones were 
put on our backs, and we were kept in the burning sand. After 
8 o'clock, we were let to go to our rice. Such like ill treatment was 
continued during three months, during which we sometimes went to 
give our petitions to the collector, who refused to take them. We 
took these petitions and appealed to the Sessions Court, who trans- 
mitted them to the collector. Still we got no justice. In the month 
of September, a notice was served upon us, and twenty-five days 
after, our property was distrained, and afterward sold. Besides what 
I have mentioned, our women were also ill treated; the kittee was put 
upon their breasts." 

A native Christian states in reply to questions put by 
the Commissioners: 

"When a European or native regiment passes through, all the ryots 
are pressed to bring in provisions, etc., for nothing, and should any 
of them ask for the price of the articles, they are severely tortured." 

There follows the case of a Brahmin, in which he, with 
others of his own village and of the neighbouring villages, 
was called on by the tahsildars to furnish planks, charcoal, 
firewood, etc., gratis, that he might carry on the Coleroon 
bridge-work; on refusing, he is seized by twelve men and 
maltreated in various ways. He adds: 

"I presented a complaint to the sub-collector, Mr. W. Cadell, but 
he made no inquiry, and tore my complaint. As he is desirous of 


completing cheaply the Coleroon bridge-work at the expense of the 
poor and of acquiring a good name from the Government, whatever 
may be the nature of the murder committed by the tahsildar, he 
takes no cognizance of it." 

The light in which illegal practices, carried to the last 
degree of extortion and violence, were looked upon by 
the highest authority, is best shown by the case of Mr. 
Brereton, the Commissioner in charge of the Ludhiana 
District in the Punjab in 1855. According to the Report 
of the Chief Commissioner for the Punjab*, it was 
proved that 

'in matters under the immediate cognizance or direction of the 
Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Brereton himself, the houses of wealthy 
citizens had been causelessly searched; that property seized on such 
occasions was detained for lengthened periods; that many parties 
were thrown into prison, and lay there for weeks, without charges 
being exhibited against them; and that the laws relating to security 
for bad character had been applied with sweeping and indiscriminat- 
ing severity. That the Deputy Commissioner had been followed about 
from district to district by certain police officers and informers, 
whom he employed wherever he went, and that these men had been 
the main authors of mischief." 

In his minute on the case, Lord Dalhousie says: 

"We have irrefragable proof — proof, indeed, undisputed by Mr. 
Brereton himself — that that officer has been guilty of each item in 
the heavy catalogue of irregularities and illegalities with which the 
Chief Commissioner has charged him, and which have brought dis- 
grace on one portion of the British administration, and have sub- 
jected a large number of British subjects to gross injustice, to arbi- 
trary imprisonment and cruel torture." 

Lord Dalhousie proposes "to make a great public 
example," and, consequently, is of opinion that 

"Mr. Brereton cannot, for the present, be fitly entrusted with the 
authority of a Deputy Commissioner, but ought to be removed 
from that grade to the grade of a first class Assistant." 

These extracts from the Blue Books may be concluded 
with the petition from the inhabitants of Taluk in Canara, 

* John Lawrence. — Ed. 


on the Malabar coast, who, after stating that they had 
presented several petitions to the Government to no pur- 
pose, thus contrast their former and present condition: 

"While we were cultivating wet and dry lands, hill tracts, low 
tracts and forests, paying the light assessment fixed upon us, and 
thereby enjoying tranquillity and happiness under the administration 
of 'Ranee,' Bahadur and Tippoo, the then Circar* servants, levied an 
additional assessment, but we never paid it. We were not subjected 
to privations, oppressions or ill-usages in collecting the revenue. On 
the surrender of this country to the Honourable Company,** they 
devised all sorts of plans to squeeze out money from us. With this 
pernicious object in view, they invented rules and framed regulations, 
and directed their collectors and civil judges to put them in execu- 
tion. But the then collectors and their subordinate native officials 
paid for some time due attention to our grievances, and acted in 
consonance with our wishes. On the contrary, the present collectors 
and their subordinate officials, desirous of obtaining promotion on 
any account whatever, neglect the welfare and interests of the people 
in general, turn a deaf ear to our grievances, and subject us to all 
sorts of oppression." 

We have here given but a brief and mildly-coloured 
chapter from the real history of British rule in India. In 
view of such facts, dispassionate and thoughtful men may 
perhaps be led to ask whether a people are not justified 
in attempting to expel the foreign conquerors who have 
so abused their subjects. And if the English could do these 
things in cold blood, is it surprising that the insurgent 
Hindus should be guilty, in the fury of revolt and conflict, 
of the crimes and cruelties alleged against them? 

Written on August 28, 1857 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5120, September 17, 1857 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

* Government. — Ed. 
** East India Company. — Ed. 

Karl Marx 


The present state of affairs in Asia suggests the inquiry, 
What is the real value of their Indian dominion to the 
British nation and people? Directly, that is in the shape 
of tribute, of surplus of Indian receipts over Indian ex- 
penditures, nothing whatever reaches the British Treasury. 
On the contrary, the annual outgo is very large. From the 
moment that the East India Company entered extensively 
on the career of conquest — now just about a century ago 
— their finances fell into an embarrassed condition, and 
they were repeatedly compelled to apply to Parliament, 
not only for military aid to assist them in holding the con- 
quered territories, but for financial aid to save them from 
bankruptcy. And so things have continued down to the 
present moment, at which so large a call is made for 
troops on the British nation, to be followed, no doubt, by 
corresponding calls for money. In prosecuting its con- 
quests hitherto, and building up its establishments, the 
East India Company has contracted a debt of upward of 
£50,000,000 sterling, while the British Government has 
been at the expense, for years past, of transporting to 
and from and keeping up in India, in addition to the forces, 
native and European, of the East India Company, a stand- 
ing army of thirty thousand men. Such being the case, it 
is evident that the advantage to Great Britain from her 
Indian Empire must be limited to the profits and benefits 
which accrue to individual British subjects. These profits 


and benefits, it must be confessed, are very consid- 

First, we have the stockholders in the East India Com- 
pany, to the number of about 3,000 persons, to whom 
under the recent Charter 70 there is guaranteed, upon a 
paid-up capital of six millions of pounds sterling, an an- 
nual dividend of ten and a half per cent, amounting to 
£630,000 annually. As the East India stock is held in trans- 
ferable shares, anybody may become a stockholder who 
has money enough to buy the stock, which, under the 
existing Charter, commands a premium of from 125 to 
150 per cent. Stock to the amount of £500, costing say 
$6,000, entitles the holder to speak at the proprietors' 
meetings, but to vote he must have £1,000 of stock. Hold- 
ers of £3,000 have two votes, of £6,000 three votes, and 
of £10,000 or upward four votes. The proprietors, how- 
ever, have but little voice, except in the election of the 
Board of Directors, of whom they choose twelve, while 
the Crown appoints six; but these appointees of the Crown 
must be qualified by having resided for ten years or more 
in India. One third of the Directors go out of office each 
year, but may be re-elected or re-appointed. To be a Di- 
rector, one must be a proprietor of £2,000 of stock. The 
Directors have a salary of £500 each, and their Chairman 
a nd Deputy Chairman twice as much; but the chief in - 
ducement to accept the office is the great patronage at- 
tached tu il in the appointment ot all Indian officers, civil , 
and military — a patron age, nowever, largely shared, and, 
mi to the most important offices, engrossed substantially, 
by th e Board of Contro l. This Board consists of six mem- 
bers, all Privy Councillors, and in general two or three 
of them Cabinet Ministers, the President of the Board 
being always so, in fact a Secretary of State for India. 

Next come the recipients of this patronage, divided into 
five classes — civil, clerical, medical, military and naval. 
For service in India, at least in the civil line, some knowl- 
edge of the languages spoken there is necessary, and to 


prepare young men to enter their civil service, the East 
India Company has a college at Haileybury. A correspond- 
ing college for the military service, in which, however, the 
rudiments of military science are the principal branches 
taught, has been established at Addiscombe, near London. 
Admission to these colleges was formerly a matter of 
favour on the part of the Directors of the Company, but 
under the latest modifications of the Charter it has been 
opened to competition in the way of a public examination 
of candidates. On first reaching India, a civilian is allowed 
about $150 a month, till having passed a necessary exam- 
ination in one or more of the native languages (which 
must be within twelve months after his arrival), he is at- 
tached to the service with emoluments which vary from 
$2,500 to near $50,000 per annum. The latter is the pay of 
the members of the Bengal Council; the members of the 
Bombay and Madras Councils* receive about $30,000 per 
annum. No person not a member of Council can receive 
more than about $25,000 per annum, and, to obtain an 
appointment worth $20,000 or over, he must have been a 
resident in India for twelve years. Nine years' residence 
qualifies for salaries of from $15,000 to $20,000, and three 
years' residence for salaries of from $7,000 to $15,000. 
Appointments in the civil service go nominally by senior- 
ity and merit, but really to a great extent by favour. As 
they are the best paid, there is great competition to get 
them, the military officers leaving their regiments for 
this purpose whenever they can get a chance. The average 
of all the salaries in the civil service is stated at about 
$8,000, but this does not include perquisites and extra 
allowances, which are often very considerable. These civil 
servants are employed as Governors, Councillors, Judges, 
Ambassadors, Secretaries, Collectors of the Revenue, etc. 
— the number in the whole being generally about 800. The 
salary of the Governor-General of India is $125,000, but 

* Councils under the British Governor-Generals. — Ed. 


the extra allowances often amount to a still larger sum. 
The Church service includes three bishops and about one 
hundred and sixty chaplains. The Bishop of Calcutta has 
$25,000 a year; those of Madras and Bombay half as much; 
the chaplains from $2,500 to 7,000, besides fees. The med- 
ical service includes some 800 physicians and surgeons, 
with salaries of from $1,500 to $10,000. 

The European military officers employed in India, includ- 
ing those of the contingents which the dependent princes 
are obliged to furnish, number about 8,000. The fixed 
pay in the infantry is, for ensigns, -$1,080; lieutenants, 
$1,344; captains, $2,226; majors, $3,810; lieutenant-colo- 
nels, $5,520; colonels, $7,680. This is the pay in cantonment. 
In active service, it is more. The pay in the cavalry, artil- 
lery and engineers, is somewhat higher. By obtaining staff 
situations or employments in the civil service, many of- 
ficers double their pay. 

Here are about ten thousand British subjects holding 
lucrative situations in India, and drawing their pay from 
the Indian service. To these must be added a considerable 
number living in England, whither they have retired upon 
pensions, which in all the services are payable after serv- 
ing a certain number of years. These pensions, with the 
dividends and interest on debts due in England, consume 
some fifteen to twenty millions of dollars drawn annually 
from India, and which may in fact be regarded as so 
much tribute paid to the English Government indirectly 
through its subjects. Those who annually retire from the 
several services carry with them very considerable 
amounts of savings from their salaries, which is so much 
more added to the annual drain on India. 

Besides those Europeans actually employed in the ser- 
vice of the Government, there are other European resi- 
dents in India to the number of 6,000 or more, employed 
in trade or private speculation. Except a few indigo, sugar 
and coffee planters in the rural districts, they are princi- 
pally merchants, agents and manufacturers, who reside in 


the cities of Calcutta, Bombay and Madras, or their im- 
mediate vicinity. The foreign trade of India, including 
imports and exports to the amount of about fifty millions 
of dollars of each, is almost entirely in their hands, and 
their profits are no doubt very considerable. 

It is thus evident that individua ls gain largely by the 
English co nnection with India, and of course their gain goes" 
to increase the sum of the nationa l wealth. But against 
all thi s a very large ottset is to be made. T he military 
and naval expen ses paid uul Of th e pockets oFthe people 
ot England on Indian account have been constantly in- 
creasing with the extent of the Indian dominion. To this 
must be added the expense of Burmese, Afghan, Chinese 
and Persian wars. In fact, the whole cost of the late Rus- 
sian war may fairly be charged to the Indian account, 
since the fear and dread of Russia, which led to that war, 
grew entirely out of jealousy a s to h er designs on India . 
Add to this the career of endless conquest and perpetual 
aggression in which the English are involved by the posses- 
sion of India, and it may well be doubted whether, on the 
whole, inis dominion does not threaten to cost quite as 
much as it can ever be expected to come to. 

Written at the beginning 
of September 1857 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5123, September 21, 1857 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 


Karl Marx 

London, January 22, 1858 

The buoyancy in the London money market, resulting 
from the withdrawal of an enormous mass of capital from 
the ordinary productive investments, and its consequent 
transfer to the security markets, has, in the last fortnight, 
been somewhat lessened by the prospects of an impending 
Indian loan to the amount of eight or ten million pounds 
sterling. This loan, to be raised in England, and to be auth- 
orized by Parliament immediately on its assembling in 
February, is required to meet the claims upon the East 
India Company by its home creditors, as well as the extra 
expenditure for war materials, stores, transport of troops, 
etc., necessitated by the Indian revolt. In August, 1857, the 
British Government had, before the prorogation of Parlia- 
ment, solemnly declared in the House of Commons that no 
such loan was intended, the financial resources of the Com- 
pany being more than sufficient to meet the crisis. The ag- 
reeable delusion thus palmed on John Bull was, however, 
soon dispelled when it oozed out that by a proceeding of 
a very questionable character, the East India Company had 
laid hold on a sum of about £3,500,000 sterling, entrusted 
to them by different companies, for the construction of 
Indian railways; and had, moreover, secretly borrowed 
£1,000,000 sterling from the Bank of England, and another 
million from the London Joint Stock banks. The public 
being thus prepared for the worst, the Government did no 
longer hesitate to drop the mask, and by semi-official ar- 


tides in The Times, Globe and other government organs, 
avow the necessity of the loan. 

It may be asked why a special act on the part of the 
legislative power is required for launching such a loan, 
and then, why such an event does create the least appre- 
hension, since, on the contrary, every vent for British cap- 
ital, seeking now in vain for profitable investment, should, 
under present circumstances, be considered a windfall, and 
a most salutary check upon the rapid depreciation of 

It is generally known that the commercial existence of 
the East India Company was terminated in 1834, when its 
principal remaining source of commercial profits, the mo- 
nopoly of the China trade, was cut off. Consequently, the 
holders of East India stock having derived their dividends, 
nominally, at least, from the trade profits of the Company, 
a new financial arrangement with regard to them had be- 
come necessary. The payment of the dividends, till then 
chargeable upon the commercial revenue of the Company, 
was transferred to its political revenue. The proprietors of 
East India stocks were to be paid out of the revenues en- 
joyed by the East India Company in its governmental cap- 
acity, and, by act of Parliament, the Indian stock, amount- 
ing to £6,000,000 sterling, bearing ten per cent interest, 
was converted into a capital not to be liquidated except at 
the rate of £200 for every £100 of stock. In other words, 
the original East India stock of £6,000,000 sterling was 
converted into a capital of £12,000,000 sterling, bearing five 
per cent interest, and chargeable upon the revenue derived 
from the taxes of the Indian people. The debt of the East 
India Company was thus, by a Parliamentary sleight of 
hand, changed into a debt of the Indian people. There 
exists, besides, a debt exceeding £50,000,000 sterling, con- 
tracted by the East India Company in India, and exclu- 
sively chargeable upon the state revenues of that country; 
such loans contracted by the Company in India itself hav- 
ing always been considered to lie beyond the district of 

11* 163 

Parliamentary legislation, and regarded no more than the 
debts contracted by the colonial governments in Canada or 
Australia for instance. 

On the other hand, the East India Company was prohib- 
ited from contracting interest-bearing debts in Great 
Britain herself, without the especial sanction of Parliament. 
Some years ago, when the Company set about establishing 
railways and electric telegraphs in India, it applied for the 
authorization of Indian bonds in the London market, a 
request which was granted to the amount of £7,000,000 
sterling, to be issued in bonds bearing 4 per cent interest, 
and secured only on the Indian state revenues. At the com- 
mencement of the outbreak in India, this bond-debt stood 
at £3,894,400 sterling, and the very necessity of again ap- 
plying to Parliament shows the East India Company to 
have, during the course of the Indian insurrection, ex- 
hausted its legal powers of borrowing at home. 

Now it is no secret that before recurring to this step, the 
East India Company had opened a loan at Calcutta, which, 
however, turned out a complete failure. This proves, on the 
one hand, that Indian capitalists are far from considering 
the prospects of British supremacy in India in the same 
sanguine spirit which distinguishes the London press; and, 
on the other hand, exacerbates the feelings of John Bull 
to an uncommon pitch, since he is aware of the immense 
hoardings of capital having gone on for the last seven years 
in India, whither, according to a statement recently 
published by Messrs. Haggard & Pixley, there has been 
shipped in 1856 and 1857, from the port of London alone, 
bullion to the amount of £21,000,000. The London Times, 
in a most persuasive strain, has taught its readers that 

"of all the incentives to the loyalty of the natives, that of mak- 
ing them our creditors was the least doubtful; while, on the other 
hand, among an impulsive, secretive and avaricious people no temp- 
tation to discontent or treachery could be stronger than that created 
by the idea that they were annually taxed to send dividends to 
wealthy claimants in other countries." 


The Indians, however, appear not to understand the 
beauty of a plan which would not only restore English su- 
premacy at the expense of Indian capital, but at the same 
time, in a circuitous way, open the native hoards to British 
commerce. If, indeed, the Indian capitalists were as fond 
of British rule as every true Englishman thinks it an article 
of faith to assert, no better opportunity could have been 
afforded them of exhibiting their loyalty and getting rid 
of their silver. The Indian capitalists shutting up their 
hoards, John Bull must open his mind to the dire necessity 
of defraying himself in the first instance, at least, the ex- 
penses of the Indian insurrection, without any support on 
the part of the natives. The impending loan constitutes, 
moreover, a precedent only, and looks like the first leaf in 
a book, bearing the title, Anglo-Indian Home Debt. It is no 
secret that what the East India Company wants are not 
eight millions, or ten millions, but twenty-five to thirty 
million pounds, and even these as a first instalment only, 
not for expenses to be incurred, but for debts already due. 
The deficient revenue for the last three years amounted 
to £5,000,000; the treasure plundered by the insurgents up 
to the 15th October last, to £10,000,000, according to the 
statement of the Phoenix, an Indian governmental paper; 
the loss of revenue in the north-eastern provinces, conse- 
quent upon the rebellion, to £5,000,000, and the war ex- 
penses to at least £10,000 : 000. 

It is true that successive loans by the Indian Company, 
in the London money market, would raise the value of 
money and prevent the increasing depreciation of capital; 
that is to say, the further fall in the rate of interest; but 
such a fall is exactly required for the revival of British 
industry and commerce. Any artificial check put upon the 
downward movement of the rate of discount is equivalent 
to an enhancement in the cost of production and the terms 
of credit, which, in its present weak state, English trade 
feels itself unable to bear. Hence the general cry of distress 
at the announcement of the Indian loan. Though the Par- 



liamentary sanction adds no imperial guarantee to the loan 
of the Company, that guarantee, too, must be conceded, if 
money is not to be obtained on other terms; and despite all 
fine distinctions, as soon as the East India Company is sup- 
planted by the British Government, its debt will be merged 
into the British debt. A further increase of the large nation- 
al debt seems, therefore, one of the first financial conse- 
quences of the Indian revolt. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5243, February 9, 1858 

Frederick Engels 



At last we are in possession of detailed accounts of the 
attack and fall of Lucknow. The principal sources of infor- 
mation, in a military point of view, the dispatches of Sir 
Colin Campbell, have not yet, indeed, been published; but 
the correspondence of the British press, and especially the 
letters of Mr. Russell in The London Times, the chief por- 
tions of which have been laid before our readers, are quite 
sufficient to give a general insight into the proceedings of 
the attacking party. 

The conclusions we drew from the telegraphic news, as 
to the ignorance and cowardice displayed in the defence, 
are more than confirmed by the detailed accounts. The 
works erected by the Hindus, formidable in appearance, 
were in reality of no greater consequence than the fiery 
dragons and grimacing faces painted by Chinese "braves" 
on their shields or on the walls of their cities. Every single 
work exhibited an apparently impregnable front, nothing 
but loopholed and embrasured walls and parapets, difficul- 
ties of access of every possible description, cannon and 
small arms bristling everywhere. But the flanks and rear 
of every position were completely neglected, a mutual 
support of the various works was never thought of, and 
even the ground between the works, as well as in front 
of them, had never been cleared, so that both front and 
flank attacks could be prepared without the knowledge of 
the defence, and could approach under perfect shelter to 


within a few yards from the parapet. It was just such a 
conglomerate of intrenchments as might be expected from 
a body of private sappers deprived of their officers, and 
serving in an army where ignorance and indiscipline 
reigned supreme. The intrenchments of Lucknow are but a 
translation of the whole method of sepoy warfare into 
baked clay walls and earthen parapets. The mechanical 
portion of European tactics had been partially impressed 
upon their minds; they knew the manual and platoon drill 
well enough; they could also build a battery and loophole 
a wall; but how to combine the movements of companies 
and battalions in the defence of a position, or how to com- 
bine batteries and loopholed houses and walls, so as to 
form an intrenched camp capable of resistance— of this 
they were utterly ignorant. Thus, they weakened the solid 
masonry walls of their palaces by over-loopholing them, 
heaped tier upon tier of loopholes and embrasures, placed 
parapeted batteries on their roofs, and all this to no pur- 
pose whatever, because it could all be turned in the easiest 
possible manner. In the same way, knowing their tactical 
inferiority, they tried to make up for it by cramming every 
post as full of men as possible, to no other purpose than 
to give terrible effect to the British artillery and to render 
impossible all orderly and systematic defence as soon as 
the attacking columns fell upon this motley host from an 
unexpected direction. And when the British, by some acci- 
dental circumstance, were compelled to attack even the 
formidable front of the works, their construction was so 
faulty that they could be approached, breached and stormed 
almost without any risk. At the Imambarah this was 
the case. Within a few yards from the building stood a 
pucka (sun-baked clay) wall. Up to this the British made a 
short sap (proof enough that the embrasures and loop- 
holes on the higher part of the building had no plunging 
fire upon the ground immediately in front), and used this 
very wall as a breaching battery, prepared for them by the 
Hindus themselves! They brought up two 68-pounders (na- 


val guns) behind this wall. The lightest 68-pounder in the 
British service weighs 87 cwt., without the carriage; but 
supposing even that an 8-inch gun for hollow shot only 
is alluded to, the lightest gun of that class weighs 50 cwt., 
and with the carriage at least three tons. That such guns 
could be brought up at all in such proximity to a palace 
several storeys high, with a battery on the roof, shows a 
contempt of commanding positions and an ignorance of 
military engineering which no private sapper in any civil- 
ized army could be capable of. 

Thus much for the science against which the British had 
to contend. As to courage and obstinacy, they were equally 
absent from the defence. From the Martiniere to the Musa- 
bagh, on the part of the natives, there was but one grand 
and unanimous act of bolting, as soon as a column ad- 
vanced to the attack. There is nothing in the whole series 
of engagements that can compare even with the massacre 
(for fight it can scarcely be called) in the Secundarbagh 
during Campbell's relief of the Residency. No sooner do 
the attacking parties advance, than there is a general hel- 
ter-skelter to the rear, and where there are but a few nar- 
row exits so as to bring the crov/ded rabble to a stop, 
they fall pell-mell, and without any resistance, under the 
volleys and bayonets of the advancing British. The "British 
bayonet" has done more execution in any one of these on- 
slaughts on panic-stricken natives than in all the wars of 
the English in Europe and America put together. In the 
East, such bayonet-battles, where one party only is active 
and the other abjectly passive, are a regular occurrence in 
warfare; the Burmese stockades in every case furnished an 
example. According to Mr. Russell's account, the chief loss 
suffered by the British was caused by Hindus cut off from 
retreat, and barricaded in the rooms of the palaces, whence 
they fired from the windows upon the officers in the court- 
yards and gardens. 

In storming the Imambarah and the Kaisarbagh, the 
bolting of the Hindus was so rapid, that the place was not 


taken, but simply marched into. The interesting scene, how- 
ever, was now only commencing; for, as Mr. Russell bland- 
ly observes, the conquest of the Kaisarbagh on that day 
was so unexpected that there was no time to guard against 
indiscriminate plunder. A merry scene it must have been 
for a true, liberty-loving John Bull to see his British grena- 
diers helping themselves freely to the jewels, costly arms, 
clothes, and all the toggery of his Majesty of Oudh. The 
Sikhs, Gurkhas and camp followers were quite ready to 
imitate the example, and a scene of plunder and destruc- 
tion followed which evidently surpassed even the descrip- 
tive talent of Mr. Russell. Every fresh step in advance was 
accompanied with plunder and devastation. The Kaisarbagh 
had fallen on the 14th; and half an hour after, discipline 
was at an end, and the officers had lost all command over 
their men. On the 17th, Gen. Campbell was obliged to 
establish patrols to check plundering, and to remain in in- 
activity "until the present licence ceases." The troops were 
evidently completely out of hand. On the 18th, we hear 
that there is a cessation of the grosser sort of plunder, but 
devastation is still going on freely. In the city, however, 
while the vanguard were fighting against the natives' fire 
from the houses, the rear-guard plundered and destroyed 
to their hearts' content. In the evening, there is another pro- 
clamation against plundering; strong parties of every regi- 
ment to go out and fetch in their own men, and to keep 
their camp followers at home; nobody to leave the camp 
except on duty. On the 20th, a recapitulation of the same 
orders. On the same day, two British "officers and gentle- 
men," Lieuts. Cape and Thackwell, "went into the city 
looting, and were murdered in a house"; and on the 26th, 
matters were still so bad that the most stringent orders 
were issued for the suppression of plunder and outrage; 
hourly roll-calls were instituted; all soldiers strictly forbid- 
den to enter the city; camp followers, if found armed in 
the city, to be hanged; soldiers not to wear arms except on 
duty, and all non-combatants to be disarmed. To give due 


weight to these orders, a number of triangles for flogging 
were erected "at proper places." 

This is indeed a pretty state of things in a civilized army 
in the 19th century; and if any other troops in the world 
had committed one-tenth of these excesses, how would 
the indignant British press brand them with infamy! But 
these are the deeds of the British army, and therefore we 
are told that such things are but the normal consequences 
of war. British officers and gentlemen are perfectly 
welcome to appropriate to themselves any silver spoons, 
jewelled bracelets, and other little memorials they may 
find about the scene of their glory; and if Campbell is com- 
pelled to disarm his own army in the midst of war, in order 
to stop wholesale robbery and violence, there may have 
been military reasons for the step; but surely nobody will 
begrudge these poor fellows a week's holiday and a little 
frolic after so many fatigues and privations. 

The fact is, there is no army in Europe or America with 
so much brutality as the British. Plundering, violence, mas- 
sacre — things that everywhere else are strictly and com- 
pletely banished — are a time-honoured privilege, a vested 
right of the British soldier. The infamies committed for 
days together, after the storming of Badajoz and San Se- 
bastian, in the Peninsular war, are without a parallel in the 
annals of any other nation since the beginning of the 
French Revolution, and the mediaeval usage, proscribed 
everywhere else, of giving up to plunder a town taken by 
assault, is still the rule with the British. At Delhi imperious 
military considerations enforced an exception; but the 
army, though bought off by extra pay, grumbled, and now 
at Lucknow they have made up for what they missed at 
Delhi. For twelve days and nights there was no British 
army at Lucknow — nothing but a lawless, drunken, brutal 
rabble, dissolved into bands of robbers, far more lawless, 
violent and greedy than the sepoys who had just been 
driven out of the place. The sack of Lucknow in 1858 will 


remain an everlasting disgrace to the British military 

If the reckless soldiery, in their civilizing and humaniz- 
ing progress through India, could rob the natives of their 
personal property only, the British Government steps in 
immediately afterwards and strips them of their real estate 
as well. Talk of the first French Revolution confiscating the 
lands of the nobles and the church! Talk of Louis Napoleon 
confiscating the property of the Orleans family! Here comes 
Lord Canning, a British nobleman, mild in language, man- 
ners and feelings, and confiscates, by order of his superior, 
Viscount Palmerston, the lands of a whole people, every 
rood, perch and acre, over an extent of ten thousand square 
miles. A very nice bit of loot indeed for John Bull! And no 
sooner has Lord Ellenborough, in the name of the new 
Government, disapproved of this hitherto unexampled 
measure, than up rise The Times and a host of minor Brit- 
ish papers to defend this wholesale robbery, and break a 
lance for the right of John Bull to confiscate everything he 
likes. But then, John is an exceptional being, and what is 
virtue in him, according to The Times, would be infamy 
in others. 

Meanwhile— thanks to the complete dissolution of the 
British army for the purpose of plunder — the insurgents es- 
caped, unpursued, into the open country. They concentrate 
in Rohilkhand, while a portion carry on petty warfare in 
Oudh, and other fugitives have taken the direction of Bun- 
delkhand. At the same time, the hot weather and the rains 
are fast approaching; and it is not to be expected that the 
season will be so uncommonly favourable to European 
constitutions as last year. Then, the mass of the European 
troops were more or less acclimated; this year, most of 
them are newly arrived. There is no doubt that a cam- 
paign in June, July and August will cost the British an 
immense number of lives, and what with the garrisons 
that have to be left in every conquered city the active army 
will melt down very rapidly. Already are we informed that 


reinforcements of 1,000 men per month will scarcely keep 
up the army at its effective strength; and as to garrisons, 
Lucknow alone requires at least 8,000 men, over one-third 
of Campbell's army. The force organizing for the campaign 
of Rohilkhand will scarcely be stronger than this garrison 
of Lucknow. We are also informed that among the British 
officers the opinion is gaining ground that the guerrilla 
warfare which is sure to succeed the dispersion of the 
larger bodies of insurgents, will be far more harassing and 
destructive of life to the British than the present war with 
its battles and sieges. And, lastly, the Sikhs are beginning 
to talk in a way which bodes no good to the English. They 
feel that without their assistance the British would scarcely 
have been able to hold India, and that, had they joined the 
insurrection, Hindustan would certainly have been lost to 
England, at least, for a time. They say this soundly, and 
exaggerate it in their Eastern way. To them the English 
no longer appear as that superior race which beat them at 
Mudki, Ferozeshah and Aliwal. From such a conviction to 
open hostility there is but a step with Eastern nations; a 
spark may kindle the blaze. 

Altogether, the taking of Lucknow has no more put 
down the Indian insurrection than the taking of Delhi. This 
summer's campaign may produce such events that the 
British will have, next winter, to go substantially over the 
same ground again, and perhaps even to reconquer the Pun- 
jab. But in the best of cases, a long and harassing guerrilla 
warfare is before them — not an enviable thing for Euro- 
peans under an Indian sun. 

Written on May 8, 1858 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 

New-York Daily Tribune, 

No. 5333, May 25, 1858 

Karl Marx 


About eighteen months ago, at Canton, the British Gov- 
ernment propounded the novel doctrine in the law of na- 
tions that a state may commit hostilities on a large scale 
against a province of another state, without either declar- 
ing war or establishing a state of war against that other 
state. Now the same British Government, in the person of 
the Governor-General of India, Lord Canning, has made 
another forward move in its task of upsetting the existing 
law of nations. It has proclaimed that 

"the proprietary right in the soil of the Province of Oudh is con- 
fiscated to the British Government, which will dispose of that right 
in such manner as it may see fitting." 

When, after the fall of Warsaw in 1831, the Russian Em- 
peror confiscated "the proprietary right in the soil" hither- 
to held by numerous Polish nobles, there was one unani- 
mous outburst of indignation in the British press and Par- 
liament. When, after the battle of Novara, the Austrian 
Government did not confiscate, but merely sequestered, 
the estates of such Lombard noblemen as had taken an 
active part in the war of independence, that unanimous 
outburst of British indignation was repeated. And when, 
after the 2nd December, 1851, Louis Napoleon confiscated 
the estates of the Orleans family, which, by the common 
law of France, ought to have been united to the public 
domain on the accession of Louis Philippe, but which had 
escaped that fate by a legal quibble, then British indigna- 


tion knew no bounds, and The London Times declared that 
by this act the very foundations of social order were up- 
set, and that civil society could no longer exist. All this 
honest indignation has now been practically illustrated. 
England, by one stroke of the pen, has confiscated not 
only the estates of a few noblemen, or of a royal family, 
but the whole length and breadth of a kingdom nearly as 
large as Ireland, "the inheritance of a whole people," as 
Lord Ellenborough himself terms it. 

But let us hear what pretexts — grounds v/e cannot call 
them — Lord Canning, in the name of the British Govern- 
ment, sets forth for this unheard-of proceeding: First, "The 
army is in possession of Lucknow." Second, "The resist- 
ance, begun by a mutinous soldiery, has found support 
from the inhabitants of the city and of the province at 
large." Third, "They have been guilty of a great crime, and 
have subjected themselves to a just retribution." In plain 
English: Because the British army have got hold of Luck- 
now, the Government has the right to confiscate all the 
land in Oudh v/hich they have not yet got hold of. Be- 
cause the native soldiers in British pay have mutinied, the 
natives of Oudh, who were subjected to British rule by 
force, have not the right to rise for their national independ- 
ence. In short, the people of Oudh have rebelled against 
the legitimate authority of the British Government, and 
the British Government now distinctly declares that rebel- 
lion is a sufficient ground for confiscation. Leaving, there- 
fore, out of the question all the circumlocution of Lord 
Canning, the whole question turns upon the point that he 
assumes the British rule in Oudh to have been legitimately 

Now, British rule in Oudh was established in the fol- 
lowing manner: When, in 1856, Lord Dalhousie thought the 
moment for action had arrived, he concentrated an army 
at Cawnpore which, the King of Oudh* was told, was to 
serve as a corps of observation against Nepal. This arnry 

* Wajid Ali Shah.— Ed. 


suddenly invaded the country, took possession of Luck- 
now, and took the King prisoner. He was urged to cede 
the country to the British, but in vain. He was then car 
ried off to Calcutta, and the country was annexed to the 
territories of the East India Company. This treacherous 
invasion was based upon article 6 of the treaty of 1801, 
concluded by Lord Wellesley. This treaty was the natural 
consequence of that concluded in 1798 by Sir John Shore. 
According to the usual policy followed by the Anglo-Indian 
Government in their intercourse with native princes, this 
first treaty of 1798 was a treaty of offensive and defensive 
alliance on both sides. It secured to the East India Com- 
pany a yearly subsidy of 76 lacs of rupees ($3,800,000); 
but by articles 12 and 13 the King was obliged to reduce 
the taxation of the country. As a matter of course, these 
two conditions, in open contradiction to each other, could 
not be fulfilled by the King at the same time. This resul; 
looked for by the East India Company, gave rise to fre 
complications, resulting in the treaty of 1801, by whl. 
a cession of territory had to make up for the alleged ii; 
fractions of the former treaty; a cession of territory which 
by the way, was at the time denounced in Parliament as a 
downright robbery, and would have brought Lord Welles- 
ley before a Committee of Inquiry, but for the political in- 
fluence then held by his family. 

In consideration of this cession of territory, the East 
India Company, by article 3, undertook to defend the 
King's remaining territories against all foreign and do- 
mestic enemies; and by article 6 guaranteed the possession 
of these territories to him and his heirs and successors for- 
ever. But this same article 6 contained also a pit-fall for 
the King, viz: The King engaged that he would establish 
such a system of administration, to be carried into effect 
by his own officers, as should be conducive to the prosper- 
ity of his subjects, and be calculated to secure the lives and 
property of the inhabitants. Now, supposing the King of 
Oudh had broken this treaty; had not, by his government, 


secured the lives and property of the inhabitants (say by 
blowing them from the cannon's mouth, and confiscating 
v ue whole of their lands), what remedy remained to the 
iiast India Company? The King was, by the treaty, acknowl- 
edged as an independent sovereign, a free agent, one of 
the contracting parties. The East India Company, on de- 
claring the treaty broken and thereby annulled, could have 
but two modes of action: either by negotiation, backed by 
pressure, they might have come to a new arrangement, or 
else they might have declared war against the King. But 
to invade his territory without declaration of war, to take 
him prisoner unawares, dethrone him and annex his ter- 
ritory, was an infraction not only of the treaty, but of 
every principle of the law of nations. 

That the annexation of Oudh was not a sudden resolu- 
: on of the British Government is proved by a curious fact, 
sooner was Lord Palmerston, in 1830, Foreign Secretary, 
n he sent an order to the then Governor-General* to 
lex Oudh. The subordinate at that time declined to carry 
t the suggestion. The affair, however, came to the knowl- 
Jge of the King of Oudh,** who availed himself of some 
pretext to send an embassy to London. In spite of all ob- 
stacles, the embassy succeeded in acquainting William IV, 
who was ignorant of the whole proceeding, with the dan- 
ger which had menaced their country. The result was a 
violent scene between William IV and Palmerston, ending 
in a strict injunction to the latter never to repeat such 
coups d'etat on pain of instant dismissal. It is important 
to recollect that the actual annexation of Oudh and the 
confiscation of all the landed property of the country took 
place when Palmerston was again in power. The papers 
relating to this first attempt at annexing Oudh, in 1831, 
were moved for, a few weeks ago, in the House of Com- 
mons, when Mr. Baillie, Secretary of the Board of Control, 
declared that these papers had disappeared. 

* William Bentinck.— Ed. 
** Nazir-ed-Din.—Ed. 

12 — 12 177 

Again, in 1837, when Palmerston, for the second time, 
was Foreign Secretary, and Lord Auckland Governor-Gen- 
eral of India, the King of Oudh* was compelled to make 
a fresh treaty with the East India Company. This treaty 
takes up article 6 of the one of 1801, because "it provides 
no remedy for the obligation contained in it" (to govern 
the country well); and it expressly provides, therefore, by 
article 7, 

"that the King of Oudh shall immediately take into considera- 
tion, in concert with the British Resident, the best means of remedy- 
ing the defects in the police, and in the judicial and revenue admin- 
istrations of his dominions; and that if his Majesty should neglect 
to attend to the advice and counsel of the British Government, and 
if gross and systematic oppression, anarchy and misrule should pre- 
vail within the Oudh dominions, such as seriously to endanger the 
public tranquillity, the British Government reserves to itself the 
right of appointing its own officers to the management of what- 
soever portions of the Oudh territory, either to a small or great 
extent, in which such misrule shall have occurred, for so long a 
period as it may deem necessary; the surplus receipts in such case, 
after defraying all charges, to be paid into the King's Treasury, and 
a true and faithful account rendered to his Majesty of the receipts 
and expenditure." 

By article 8, the treaty further provides: 

"That in case the Governor-General of India in Council should 
be compelled to resort to the exercise of the authority vested in 
him by article 7, he will endeavour so far as possible to maintain, 
with such improvements as they may admit of, the native institu- 
tions and forms of administration within the assumed territories, so 
as to facilitate the restoration of these territories to the Sovereign 
of Oudh, when the proper period for such restoration shall arrive." 

This treaty professes to be concluded between the Gov- 
ernor-General of British India in Council, on one hand, and 
the King of Oudh on the other. It was, as such, duly rati- 
fied, by both parties, and the ratifications were duly ex- 
changed. But when it was submitted to the Board of Direc- 
tors of the East India Company, it was annulled (April 10, 
1838) as an infraction of the friendly relations between 

* Mohammed AH Shah. — Ed. 


the Company and the King of Oudh, and an encroachment, 
on the part of the Governor-General, on the rights of that 
potentate. Palmerston had not asked the Company's leave 
to conclude the treaty, and he took no notice of their an- 
nulling resolution. Nor was the King of Oudh informed that 
the treaty had ever been cancelled. This is proved by Lord 
Dalhousie himself (minute Jan. 5, 1856): 

"It is very probable that the King, in the course of the discus- 
sions which will take place with the Resident,* may refer to the 
treaty negotiated with his predecessor in 1837; the Resident is aware 
that the treaty was not continued in force, having been annulled by 
the Court of Directors as soon as it was received in England. The 
Resident is further aware that, although the King of Oudh was in- 
formed at the time that certain aggravating provisions of the treaty 
of 1837, respecting an increased military force, would not be carried 
into effect, the entire abrogation of it was never communicated to 
his Majesty. The effect of this reserve and want of full communica- 
tion is felt to be embarrassing today. It is the more embarrassing 
that the cancelled instrument was still included in a volume of 
treaties which was published in 1845, by the authority of Govern- 

In the same minute, sec. 17, it is said: 

"If the King should allude to the treaty of 1837, and should ask 
why, if further measures are necessary in relation to the adminis- 
tration of Oudh, the large powers which are given to the British 
Government by the said treaty should not now be put in force, his 
Majesty must be informed that the treaty has had no existence 
since it was communicated to the Court of Directors, by whom it 
was wholly annulled. His Majesty will be reminded that the Court 
of Lucknow was informed at the time that certain articles of the 
treaty of 1837, by which the payment of an additional military force 
was imposed upon the King, were to be set aside. It must be pre- 
sumed that it was not thought necessary at that time to make any 
communication to his Majesty regarding those articles of the treaty 
which were not of immediate operation, and that the subsequent 
communication was inadvertently neglected." 

But not only was this treaty inserted in the official col- 
lection of 1845, it was also officially adverted to as a sub- 
sisting treaty in Lord Auckland's notification to the King 

* James Outram. — Ed. 
12* 179 

of Oudh, dated July 8, 1839; in Lord Hardinge's (then Gov- 
ernor-General) remonstrance to the same King, of Novem- 
ber 23, 1847, and in Col. Sleeman's (Resident at Lucknow) 
communication to Lord Dalhousie himself, of the 10th De- 
cember, 1851. Now, why was Lord Dalhousie so eager to 
deny the validity of a treaty w mcn all his predecessor s, 
a nd_eyen his own agents, naa acknowledged to be in force 
i n their com munications with the King of Oudh? Solely 
because, by tnis treaty, whatever pretext the King might 
give for interference, that interference was limited to an 
a' ssumption of government by Britisn oincers in tne nam e 
ol ±he King of Oudh, who was to receive the surplus rev - 
enue . ^TFat Was the' very opposite of what v/as wanted. 
Nothing short of annexation would do. This denying the 
validity of treaties which had formed the acknowledged 
base of intercourse for twenty years; this seizing violently 
upon independent territories in open infraction even of the 
acknowledged treaties; this final confiscation of every acre 
of land in the whole country; all these treacherous and 
brutal modes of proceeding of the British toward the natives 
of India are now beginning to avenge themselves, not only 
in India, but in England. 

Written on May 14, 1858 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5336, May 28, 1858 

Karl Marx 



Lord Canning's proclamation in relation to Oudh, some 
important documents in reference to which we published 
on Saturday, has revived the discussion as to the land 
tenures of India— a subject upon which there have been 
great disputes and differences of opinion in times past, 
and misapprehensions in reference to which have led, so 
it is alleged, to very serious practical mistakes in the ad- 
ministration of those parts of India directly under British 
rule. The great point in this controversy is, what is the 
exact position which the zemindars, talukdars or sirdars, 
so called, hold in the economical system of India? Are they 
properly to be considered as landed proprietors or as mere 

It is agreed that in India, as in most Asiatic countries, 
the ultimate property in the soil vests the Government; 
but while one party to this controversy insists that the 
Government is to be looked upon as a soil proprietor, let- 
ting out the land on shares to the cultivators, the other 
side maintains that in substance the land in India is just 
as much private property as in any other country what- 
ever — this alleged property in the Government being noth- 
ing more than the derivation of title from the sovereign, 
theoretically acknowledged in all countries, the codes of 
which are based on the feudal lav/ and substantially ac- 
knowledged in all countries whatever in the power of the 


Government to levy taxes on the land to the extent of the 
needs of the Government, quite independent of all con- 
siderations, except as mere matter of policy, of the con- 
venience of the owners. 

Admitting, however, that the lands of India are private 
property, held by as good and strong a private title as 
land elsewhere, who shall be regarded as the real own- 
ers? There are two parties for whom this claim has been 
set up. One of these parties is the class known as zemindars 
and talukdars, who have been considered to occupy a po- 
sition similar to that of the landed nobility and gentry of 
Europe; to be, indeed, the real owners of the land, subject 
to a certain assessment due to the Government, and, as 
owners, to have the right of displacing at pleasure the ac- 
tual cultivators, who, in this view of the case, are regarded 
as standing in the position of mere tenants at will, liable 
to any payment in the way of rent which the zemindars 
may see fit to impose. The view of the case which naturally 
fell in with English ideas, as to the importance and neces- 
sity of a landed gentry as the main pillar of the social 
fabric, was made the foundation of the famous landed 
settlement of Bengal seventy years ago, under the Gov- 
ernor-Generalship of Lord Cornwallis — a settlement which 
still remains in force, but which, as it is maintained by 
many, wrought great injustice alike to the Government and 
to the actual cultivators. A more thorough study of the 
institutions of Hindustan, together with the inconveniences, 
both social and political, resulting from the Bengal settle- 
ment, has given currency to the opinion that by the original 
Hindu institutions, the property of the land was in the vil- 
lage corporations, in which resided the power of allotting 
it out to individuals for cultivation while the zemindars 
and talukdars were in their origin nothing but officers of 
the Government, appointed to look after, to collect, and 
to pay over to the prince the assessment due from the 


This view has influenced to a considerable degree the 
settlement of the landed tenures and revenue made of late 
years in the Indian provinces, of which the direct adminis- 
tration has been assumed by the English. The exclusive 
proprietary rights claimed by the talukdars and zemindars 
have been regarded as originating in usurpations at once 
against the Government and the cultivators, and every ef- 
fort has been made to get rid of them as an incubus on the 
real cultivators of the soil and the general improvement 
of the country. As, however, these middlemen, whatever 
the origin of their rights might be, could claim prescription 
in their favour, it was impossible not to recognize their 
claims as to a certain extent legal, however inconvenient, 
arbitrary and oppressive to the people. In Oudh, under the 
feeble reign of the native princes, these feudal landholders 
had gone very far in curtailing alike the claims of the 
Government and the rights of the cultivators; and when, 
upon the recent annexation of that Kingdom, this matter 
came under revision, the Commissioners charged with mak- 
ing the settlement soon got into a very acrimonious contro- 
versy with them as to the real extent of their rights. Hence 
resulted a state of discontent on their part which led them 
to make common cause with the revolted sepoys. 

By those who incline to the policy above indicated — 
that of a system of village settlement — looking at the actual 
cultivators as invested with a proprietary right in the land, 
superior to that of the middlemen, through whom the 
Government receives its share of the landed produce — the 
proclamation of Lord Canning is defended as an advantage 
taken of the position in which the great body of the zemin- 
dars and talukdars of Oudh had placed themselves, to 
open a door for the introduction of much more extensive 
reforms than otherwise would have been practicable — the 
proprietary right confiscated by that proclamation being 
merely zemindari or talukdari right, and affecting only 
a very small part of the population, and that by no mearr- 
the actual cultivators. 


Independently of any question of justice and humanity, 
the view taken on the other hand by the Derby Ministry 
of Lord Canning's proclamation, corresponds sufficiently 
well with the general principles which the Tory, or Con- 
servative, party maintain on the sacredness of vested rights 
and the importance of upholding an aristocratic landed 
interest. In speaking of the landed interest at home, they 
always refer rather to the landlords and rent-receivers than 
to the rent-payers and to the actual cultivators; and it is, 
therefore, not surprising that they should regard the inter- 
ests of the zemindars and talukdars, however few their 
actual number, as equivalent to the interests of the great 
body of the people. 

Here indeed is one of the greatest inconveniences and 
difficult ies in the government of India from England, that 
views of Indian questions are liable to be influenced bv 
p urely English prejudices or sentiments, applied to a state 
oT society and a condition of thi ngs to which they have 
in fact very little real pertinency. Th e defence which Lord 
Canning makes in his dispatch, published to-day, of the 
policy of his proclamation against the objections of Sir 
James Outram, the Commissioner of Oudh, is very plausible, 
though it appears that he so far yielded to the representa- 
tions of the Commissioner as to insert into the proclama- 
tion the modifying sentence, not contained in the original 
draft sent to England, and on which Lord Ellenborough's 
dispatch was based. 

Lord Canning's opinion as to the light in which the con- 
duct of landholders of Oudh in joining in the rebellion 
ought to be viewed does not appear to differ much from 
that of Sir James Outram and Lord Ellenborough. He argues 
that they stand in a very different position not only from 
the mutinous sepoys, but from that of the inhabitants of 
rebellious districts in which the British rule had been long- 
er established. He admits that they are entitled to be 
treated as persons having provocation for the course they 
took; but at the same time insists that they must be made 


to understand that rebellion cannot be resorted to with- 
out involving serious consequences to themselves. We shall 
soon learn what the effect of the issue of the proclamation 
has been, and whether Lord Canning or Sir James Outram 
was nearer right in his anticipation of its results. 

Written on May 25, 1858 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5344, June 7, 1858 

Frederick Engels 


Our indiscreet friend, Mr. William Russell of The Lon- 
don Times, has recently been induced, by his love of the 
picturesque, to illustrate, for the second time, the sack of 
Lucknow, to a degree which other people will not think 
very flattering to the British character. It now appears that 
Delhi, too, was "looted" to a very considerable extent, and 
that besides the Kaisarbagh, the city of Lucknow general- 
ly contributed to reward the British soldier for his previous 
privations and heroic efforts. We quote from Mr. Russell: 

"There are companies which can boast of privates with thou- 
sands of pounds worth in their ranks. One man I heard of who 
complacently offered to lend an officer 'whatever sum he wanted 
if he wished to buy over the Captain.' Others have remitted large 
sums to their friends. Ere this letter reaches England, many a dia- 
mond, emerald and delicate pearl will have told its tale in a very 
quiet, pleasant way, of the storm and sack of the Kaisarbagh. It is 
as well that the fair wearers . . . saw not how the glittering baubles 
were won, or the scenes in which the treasure was trove. . . . Some of 
these officers have made, literally, their fortunes. . . . There are cer- 
tain small caskets in battered uniform cases which contain estates 
in Scotland and Ireland, and snug fishing and shooting boxes in 
every game-haunted or salmon-frequented angle of the world." 

This, then, accounts for the inactivity of the British army 
after the conquest of Lucknow. The fortnight devoted to 
plunder was well spent. Officers and soldiers went into 
the town poor and debt-ridden, and came out suddenly en- 
riched. They were no longer the same men; yet they were 
expected to return to their former military duty, to sub- 


mission, silent obedience, fatigue, privation and battle. But 
this is out of the question. The army, disbanded for the 
purpose of plunder, is changed for ever; no word of com- 
mand, no prestige of the General, can make it again what 
it once was. Listen again to Mr. Russell: 

"It is curious to observe how riches develop disease; how one's 
liver is affected by loot, and what tremendous ravages in one's 
family, among the nearest and dearest, can be caused by a few 

crystals of carbon The weight of the belt round the private's 

waist, full of rupees and gold mohurs, assures him that the vision" 
(of a comfortable independency at home) "can be realized, and it 
is no wonder he resents the 'fall in, then, fall in!' . . . Two battles, 
two shares of prize-money, the plunder of two cities, and many 
pickings by the way, have made some of our men too rich for easy 

Accordingly, we hear that above 150 officers have sent 
in their resignations to Sir Colin Campbell — a very singular 
proceeding indeed in an army before the enemy, which in 
any other service would be followed up in twenty-four 
hours by cashiering and severest punishment otherwise, 
but which, we suppose, is considered in the British army 
as a very proper act for "an officer and a gentleman" who 
has suddenly made his fortune. As to the private soldiers, 
with them the proceeding is different. Loot engenders the 
desire for more; and if no more Indian treasures are at 
hand for the purpose, why not loot those of the British 
Government? Accordingly, says Mr. Russell: 

"There has been a suspicious upsetting of two treasure tumbrils 
under a European guard, in which some few rupees were missing, 
and paymasters exhibit a preference for natives in the discharge of 
the delicate duty of convoy!" 

Very good, indeed. The Hindu or Sikh is better disci- 
plined, less thieving, less rapacious than that incomparable 
model of a warrior, the British soldier! But so far we have 
seen the individual Briton only employed. Let us now cast 
a glance at the British army, "looting" in its collective 


"Every day adds to the prize property, and it is estimated that 
the sales will produce £600,000. The town of Cawnpore is said to 
be full of the plunder of Lucknow; and if the damage done to public 
buildings, the destruction of private property, the deterioration in 
value of houses and land, and the results of depopulation could be 
estimated, it would be found that the capital of Oudh has sustained 
a loss of five or six millions sterling." 

The Kalmuk hordes of Genghis Khan and Timur, falling 
upon a city like a swarm of locusts, and devouring every- 
thing that came in their way, must have been a blessing 
to a country, compared with the irruption of these Chris- 
tian, civilized, chivalrous and gentle British soldiers. The 
former, at least, soon passed away on their erratic course; 
but these methodic Englishmen bring along with them 
their prize-agents, who convert loot into a system, who 
register the plunder, sell it by auction, and keep a sharp 
look-out that British heroism is not defrauded of a title 
of its reward. We shall watch with curiosity the capabil- 
ities of this army, relaxed as its discipline is by the effects 
of wholesale plunder, at a time when the fatigues of a hot 
weather campaign require the greatest stringency of dis- 

The Hindus must, however, by this time be still less fit 
for regular battle than they were at Lucknow, but that is 
not now the main question. It is far more important to know 
what shall be done if the insurgents, after a show of resist- 
ance, again shift the seat of war, say to Rajputana, which 
is far from being subdued. Sir Colin Campbell must leave 
garrisons everywhere; his field army has melted down to 
less than one-half of the force he had before Lucknow. 
If he is to occupy Rohilkhand what disposable strength 
will remain for the field? The hot weather is now upon him; 
in June the rains must have put a stop to active campaign- 
ing, and allowed the insurgents breathing time. The loss 
of European soldiers through sickness will have increased 
every day after the middle of April, when the weather 
became oppressive; and the young men imported into India 
last winter must succumb to the climate in far greater 


numbers than the seasoned Indian campaigners who last 
summer fought under Kavelock and Wilson. Rohilkhand is 
no more the decisive point than Lucknow was, or Delhi. 
The insurrection, it is true, has lost most of its capacity 
for pitched battles; but it is far more formidable in its 
present scattered form, which compels the English to ruin 
their army by marching and exposure. Look at the many 
new centres of resistance. There is Rohilkhand, where the 
mass of the old sepoys are collected; there is north-eastern 
Oudh beyond the Gogra, where the Oudhians have taken 
up position; there is Kalpi, which for the present serves 
as a point of concentration for the insurgents of Bundel- 
khand. We shall most likely hear in a few weeks, if not 
sooner, that both Bareilly and Kalpi have fallen. The for- 
mer will be of little importance, inasmuch as it will serve to 
absorb nearly all, if not the whole of Campbell's dispos- 
able forces. Kalpi, menaced now by General Whitlock, who 
has led his column from Nagpur to Banda, in Bundel- 
khand, and by General Rose, who approaches from Jhansi, 
and has defeated the advanced guard of the Kalpi forces, 
will be a more important conquest; it will free Campbell's 
base of operations, Cawnpore, from the only danger menac- 
ing it, and thus perhaps enable him to recruit his field 
forces to some extent by troops set at liberty thereby. But 
it is very doubtful whether there will be enough to do 
more than to clear Oudh. 

Thus, the strongest army England ever concentrated on 
one point in India is again scattered in all directions, and 
has more work cut out than it can conveniently do. The 
ravages of the climate, during the summer's heat and rains, 
must be terrible; and whatever the moral superiority of 
the European over the Hindus, it is very doubtful whether 
the physical superiority of the Hindus in braving the heat 
and rains of an Indian summer will not again be the means 
of destroying the English forces. There are at present but 
few British troops on the road to India, and it is not in- 
tended to send out large reinforcements before July and 


August. Up to October and November, therefore, Camp- 
bell has but that one army, melting down rapidly as it is, 
to hold his own with. What if in the meantime the insur- 
gent Hindus succeed in raising Rajputana and Mahratta 
country in rebellion? What if the Sikhs, of whom there 
are 80,000 in the British service, and who claim all the 
honour of the victories for themselves, and whose temper 
is not altogether favourable to the British, were to rise? 
Altogether, one more winter's campaign, at least, appears 
to be in store for the British in India, and that cannot be 
carried on without another army from England. 

Written about June 4, 1858 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5361, June 26, 1858 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 


London, June 18, 1858 

In the sitting of the House of Lords on June 17, the 
question of the slave-trade was introduced by the Bishop 
of Oxford, who presented a petition against that trade from 
the Parish of St. Mary in Jamaica. The impression these 
debates are sure to produce upon every mind not strong- 
ly prejudiced is that of great moderation on the part of 
the present British Government, and its firm purpose of 
avoiding any pretext of quarrel with the United States. 
Lord Malmesbury dropped altogether the "right of visit" 
as far as ships under the American flag are concerned, by 
the following declaration: 

"The United States say that on no account, for no purpose, and 
upon no suspicion shall a ship carrying the American flag be board- 
ed except by an American ship, unless at the risk of the officer 
boarding or detaining her. I have not admitted the international law 
as laid down by the American Minister for Foreign Affairs, until that 
statement had been approved and fortified by the law officers of 
the Crown. But having admitted that, I have put it as strong as 
possible to the American Government that if it is known that the 
American flag covers every iniquity, every pirate and slaver on 
earth will carry it and no other; that this must bring disgrace on 
that honoured banner, and that instead of vindicating the honour 
of the country by an obstinate adherence to their present declara- 
tion the contrary result will follow; that the American flag will be 
prostituted to the worst of purposes. I shall continue to urge that 
it is necessary in these civilized times, with countless vessels navi- 
gating the ocean, that there should be a police on the ocean; that 
there should be, if not a right by international law, an agreement 


among nations how far they would go to verify the nationality of 
vessels, and ascertain their right to bear a particular flag. From the 
language I have used, from the conversations which I had with 
the American Minister resident in this country, and from the ob- 
servations contained in a very able paper drawn up by Gen. Cass 
on this subject, I am not without strong hope that some arrange- 
ment of this kind may be made with the United States, which, with 
the orders given to the officers of both countries, may enable us to 
verify the flags of all countries, without running the risk of offence 
to the country to which a ship belongs." 

On the Opposition benches there was also no attempt 
made at vindicating the right of visit on the part of Great 
Britain against the United States, but, as Earl Grey re- 

"the English had treaties with Spain and other powers for the 
prevention of the slave-trade, and if they had reasonable grounds 
for suspecting that a vessel was engaged in this abominable traf- 
fic, and that she had for the time made use of the United States 
flag, that she was not really an American ship at all, they had a 
right to overhaul her and to search her. If, however, she produced 
the American papers, even though she be full of slaves, it was their 
duty to discharge her, and to leave to the United States the dis- 
grace of that iniquitous traffic. He hoped and trusted that the orders 
to their cruisers were strict in this respect, and that any excess of 
that discretion which was allowed their officers under the circum- 
stances would meet with proper punishment." 

The question then turns exclusively upon the point, and 
even this point seems abandoned by Lord Malmesbury, 
whether or not vessels suspected of usurping the American 
flag may not be called upon to produce their papers. Lord 
Aberdeen directly denied that any controversy could arise 
out of such a practice, since the instructions under which 
the British officers were to proceed on such an occurrence 
— instructions drawn up by Dr. Lushington and Sir G. Cock- 
burn- — had been communicated at the time to the Amer- 
ican Government and acquiesced in by Mr. Webster, on 
the part of that Government. If, therefore, there had been 
no change in these instructions, and if the officers had 
acted within their limits, "the American Government could 


have no ground of complaint." There seemed, indeed, a 
strong suspicion hovering in the minds of the hereditary- 
wisdom, that Palmerston had played one of his usual tricks 
by effecting some arbitrary change in the orders issued to 
the British cruisers. It is known that Palmerston, while 
boasting of his zeal in the suppression of the slave-trade, 
had, during the eleven years of his administration of for- 
eign affairs, ending in 1841, broken up all the existing 
slave-trade treaties, had ordered acts which the British law 
authorities pronounced criminal, and which actually sub- 
jected one of his instruments to legal procedure and placed 
a slave-dealer under the protection of the law of England 
against its own Government. He chose the slave-trade as 
his field of battle, and converted it into a mere instrument 
of provoking quarrels between England and other states. 
Before leaving office in 1841 he had given instructions 
which, according to the words of Sir Robert Peel, "must 
have led, had they not been countermanded, to a collision 
with the United States." In his own words, he had enjoined 
the naval officers "to have no very nice regard to the law 
of nations." Lord Malmesbury, although in very reserved 
language, intimated that "by sending the British squadrons 
to the Cuban waters, instead of leaving them on the coast 
of Africa," Palmerston removed them from a station where, 
before the outbreak of the Russian war, they had almost 
succeeded in extinguishing the slave-trade, to a place where 
they could be good for little else than picking up a quarrel 
with the United States. Lord Woodhouse, Palmerston's own 
late Ambassador to the Court of St. Petersburg, concurring 
in this view of the case, remarked that, 

"No matter what instructions had been given, if the Government 
gave authority to the British vessels to go in such numbers into 
the American waters, a difference would sooner or later arise be- 
tween us and the United States." 

Yet, whatever may have been Palmerston's secret inten- 
tions, it is evident that they are baffled by the Tory Gov- 
ernment in 1858, as they had been in 1842, and that the 

13 — 12 193 

war cry so lustily raised in the Congress and in the press 
is doomed to result in "much ado about nothing." 

As to the question of the slave-trade itself, Spain was 
denounced by the Bishop of Oxford as well as Lord Broug- 
ham, as the mainstay of that nefarious traffic. Both of them 
called upon the British Government to force, by every 
means in its power, that country into a course of policy 
consonant to existing treaties. As early as 1814 a general 
treaty was entered into between Great Britain and Spain, 
by which the latter passed an unequivocal condemnation 
of the slave-trade. In 1817 a specific treaty was concluded, 
by which Spain fixed the abolition of the slave-trade, on 
the part of her own subjects, for the year 1820, and, by 
way of compensation for the losses her subjects might suf- 
fer by carrying out the contract, received an indemnity of 
£400,000. The money was pocketed, but no equivalent was 
tendered for it. In 1835 a new treaty was entered into, by 
which Spain bound herself formally to bring in a sufficient- 
ly stringent penal law to make it impossible for her sub- 
jects to continue the traffic. The procrastinating Spanish 
proverb, "A la mafiana,"* was again strictly adhered to. 
It was only ten years later that the penal law was carried; 
but, by a singular mischance, the principal clause contend- 
ed for by England was left out, namely, that of making 
the slave-trade piracy. In one word, nothing was done, 
save that the Captain-General of Cuba, the Minister at 
Home, the Camarilla, and, if rumour speaks truth, royal 
personages themselves, raised a private tax upon the slav- 
ers, selling the licence of dealing in human flesh and blood 
at so many doubloons per head. 

"Spain," said the Bishop of Oxford, "had not the excuse that 
this traffic was a system which her Government was not strong 
enough to put down, because Gen. Valdes had shown that such a 
plea could not be urged with any show of truth. On his arrival in 
the island he called together the principal contractors, and, giving 
them six months' time to close all their transactions in the slave- 

* Tomorrow. — Ed. 


trade, told them that he was determined to put it down at the end 
of that period. What was the result? In 1840, the year previous to 
the administration of Gen. Valdes, the number of ships which came 
to Cuba from the coast of Africa with slaves was 56. In 1842, while 
Gen. Valdes was Captain-General, the number was only 3. In 1840 
no less that 14,470 slaves were landed at the island; in 1842 the 
number was 3,100." 

Now what shall England do with Spain? Repeat her 
protests, multiply her dispatches, renew her negotiations? 
Lord Malmesbury himself states that they could cover all 
the waters from the Spanish coast to Cuba with the docu- 
ments vainly exchanged between the two Governments. 
Or shall England enforce her claims, sanctioned by so many 
treaties? Here it is that the shoe pinches. In steps the sin- 
ister figure of the "August ally," now the acknowledged 
guardian angel of the slave-trade. The third Bonaparte, the 
patron of slavery, in all its forms, forbids England to act 
up to her convictions and her treaties. Lord Malmesbury, 
it is known, is strongly suspected of an undue intimacy 
with the hero of Satory. 71 Nevertheless, he denounced him 
in plain terms as the general slave-dealer of Europe — as 
the man who had revived the infamous traffic in its worst 
features under the pretext of "free emigration" of the 
blacks to the French colonies. Earl Grey completed this de- 
nunciation by stating that "wars had been undertaken in 
Africa for the purpose of making captives, who were to 
be sold to the agents of the French Government." The Earl 
of Clarendon added that "both Spain and France were ri- 
vals in the African market, offering a certain sum per man; 
and there was not the least difference in the treatment 
of these Negroes, whether they were conveyed to Cuba or 
to a French colony." 

Such, then, is the glorious position England finds herself 
in by having lent her help to that man in overthrowing the 
Republic. The second Republic, like the first one, had abo- 
lished slavery. Bonaparte, who acquired his power solely 
by truckling to the meanest passions of men, is unable to 

13* 195 

prolong it save by buying day by day new accomplices. 
Thus he has not only restored slavery, but has bought the 
planters by the renewal of the slave-trade. Everything de- 
grading the conscience of the nation, is a new lease of 
power granted to him. To convert France into a slave-trad- 
ing nation would be the surest means of enslaving France, 
who, when herself, had the boldness of proclaiming in the 
face of the world: Let the colonies perish, but let principles 
live! One thing at least has been accomplished by Bona- 
parte. The slave-trade has become a battle-cry between 
the Imperialist and the Republican camps. If the French 
Republic be restored today, tomorrow Spain will be forced 
to abandon the infamous traffic. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5366, July 2, 1858 

Karl Marx 


According to the London journals, Indian stock and rail- 
way securities have of late been distinguished by a down- 
ward movement in that market, which is far from testify- 
ing to the genuineness of the sanguine convictions which 
John Bull likes to exhibit in regard to the state of the 
Indian guerrilla war; and which, at all events, indicates 
a stubborn distrust in the elasticity of Indian financial re- 
sources. As to the latter, two opposite views are pro- 
pounded. On the one hand, it is affirmed that taxes in India 
are onerous and oppressive beyond those of any country 
in the world; that as a rule throughout most of the presi- 
dencies, and through those presidencies most where they 
have been longest under British rule, the cultivators, that 
is, the great body of the people of India, are in a condition 
of unmitigated impoverishment and dejection; that, conse- 
quently, Indian revenues have been stretched to their ut- 
most possible limit, and Indian finances are therefore past 
recovery. A rather discomfortable opinion this at a period 
when, according to Mr. Gladstone, for some years to come, 
the extraordinary Indian expenditure alone will annually 
amount to about £20,000,000 sterling. On the other hand, 
it is asserted — the asseveration being made good by an 
array of statistical illustrations — that India is the least 
taxed country in the world; that, if expenditure is going 
on increasing, revenue may be increased too; and that it 
is an utter fallacy to imagine that the Indian people will 


not bear any new taxes. Mr. Bright, who may be consid- 
ered the most arduous and influential representative of the 
"discomfortable" doctrine, made, on the occasion of the 
second reading of the new Government of India bill, the 
following statement: 

"The Indian Government had cost more to govern India than it 
was possible to extort from the population of India, although the 
Government had been by no means scrupulous either as to the taxes 
imposed, or as to the mode in which they had been levied. It cost 
more than £30,000,000 to govern India, for that was the gross rev- 
enue, and there was always a deficit, which had to be made up 
by loans borrowed at a high rate of interest. The Indian debt now 
amounted to £60,000,000, and was increasing; while the credit of 
the Government was falling, partly because they had not treated 
their creditors very honourably on one or two occasions, and now 
on account of the calamities which had recently happened in India. 
He had alluded to the gross revenue; but as that included the opium 
revenue, which was hardly a tax upon the people of India, he would 
take the taxation which really pressed upon them at £25,000,000. 
Now, let not this £25,000,000 be compared with the £60,000,000 that 
was raised in this country. Let the House recollect that in India it 
was possible to purchase twelve days' labour for the same amount 
of gold or silver that would be obtained in payment for one in 
England. This £25,000,000 expended in the purchase of labour in 
India would buy as much as an outlay of £300,000,000 would procure 
in England. He might be asked how much was the labour of an 
Indian worth? Well, if the labour of an Indian was only worth 2d. 
a day, it was clear that we could not expect him to pay as much 
taxation as if it was worth 2s. We had 30,000,000 of population in 
Great Britain and Ireland; in India there were 150,000,000 inhab- 
itants. We raised here £60,000,000 sterling of taxes; in India, reckon- 
ing by the day's labour of the people of India, we raised £300,000,000 
of revenue, or five times a greater revenue than was collected at 
home. Looking at the fact that the population of India was five 
times greater than that of the British Empire, a man might say that 
the taxation per head in India and England was about the same, 
and that therefore there was no greater hardship inflicted. But in 
England there was an incalculable power of machinery and steam, 
of means of transit, and of everything that capital and human in- 
vention could bring to aid the industry of a people. In India there 
was nothing of the kind. They had scarcely a decent road through- 
out India." 


Now, it must be admitted that there is something wrong 
in this method of comparing Indian taxes with British 
taxes. There is on the one side the Indian population, five 
times as great as the British one, and there is on the other 
side the Indian taxation amounting to half the British. But, 
then, Mr. Bright says, Indian labour is an equivalent for 
about one-twelfth only of British labour. Consequently 
£30,000,000 of taxes in India would represent £300,000,000 
of taxes in Great Britain, instead of the £60,000,000 actual- 
ly there raised. What then is the conclusion he ought to 
have arrived at? That the people of India in regard to 
their numerical strength pay the same taxation as the peo- 
ple in Great Britain, if allowance is made for the compar- 
ative poverty of the people in India, and £30,000,000 is sup- 
posed to weigh as heavily upon 150,000,000 Indians as 
£60,000,000 upon 30,000,000 Britons. Such being his sup- 
position, it is certainly fallacious to turn round and say 
that a poor people cannot pay so much as a rich one, be- 
cause the comparative poverty of the Indian people has 
already been taken into account in making out the state- 
ment that the Indian pays as much as the Briton. There 
might, in fact, another question be raised. It might be asked, 
whether a man who earns say 12 cents a day can be fair- 
ly expected to pay 1 cent with the same ease with which 
another, earning $12 a day, pays $1? Both would relatively 
contribute the same aliquot part of their income, but still 
the tax might bear in quite different proportions upon their 
respective necessities. Yet, Mr. Bright has not yet put the 
question in these terms, and, if he had, the comparison 
between the burden of taxation, borne by the British wages' 
labourer on the one hand, and the British capitalist on the 
other, would perhaps have struck nearer home than the 
comparison between Indian and British taxation. More- 
over, he admits himself that from the £30,000,000 of In- 
dian taxes, the £5,000,000 constituting the opium revenue 
must be subtracted, since this is, properly speaking, no tax 
pressing upon the Indian people, but rather an export duty 


charged upon Chinese consumption. Then we are reminded 
by the apologists of the Anglo-Indian Administration that 
£16,000,000 of income is derived from the land revenue, or 
rent, which from times immemorial has belonged to the 
State in its capacity as supreme landlord, never consti- 
tuted part of the private fortune of the cultivator, and does, 
in fact, no more enter into taxation, properly so called, 
than the rent paid by the British farmers to the British 
aristocracy can be said to enter British taxation. Indian 
taxation, according to this point of view, would stand thus: 

Aggregate sum raised £30,000,000 

Deduct for opium revenue . • . . . 5,000,000 
Deduct for rent of land 16,000,000 

Taxation proper £9,000,000 

Of this £9,000,000, again, it must be admitted that some 
important items, such as the post-office, the stamp duties, 
and the custom duties, bear in a very minute proportion 
on the mass of the people. Accordingly, Mr. Hendricks, in 
a paper recently laid before the British Statistical Society 
on the Finances of India, tries to prove, from Parliamen- 
tary and other official documents, that of the total revenue 
paid by the people of India, not more than one-fifth is at 
present raised by taxation, i.e., from the real income of 
the people; that in Bengal 27 per cent only, in the Punjab 
23 per cent only, in Madras 21 per cent only, in the north- 
west provinces 17 per cent only, and in Bombay 16 per cent 
only of the total revenue is derived from taxation proper. 

The following comparative view of the average amount 
of taxation derived from each inhabitant of India and the 
United Kingdom, during the years 1855-56, is abstracted 
from M. Hendricks's statement: 

Bengal, per head, revenue ..£05 

North-west provinces 3 

Madras 4 

Bombay 8 

Punjab 3 

United Kingdom 



. Taxation proper £0 14 

5 . 

. Taxation proper 7 

7 . 

. Taxation proper 1 

3 . 

. Taxation proper 1 4 


. Taxation proper 9 

. Taxation proper 1 10 Q 

For a different year the following estimate of the aver- 
age paid by each individual to the national revenue is made 
by Gen. Briggs: 

la England, 1852 £1 19 4 

In France 112 

In Prussia 19 3 

In India, 1854 3 8% 

From these statements it is inferred by the apologists of 
the British Administration that there is not a single coun- 
try in Europe, where, even if the comparative poverty of 
India is taken into account, the people are so lightly taxed. 
Thus it seems that not only opinions with respect to In- 
dian taxation are conflicting, but that the facts from which 
they purport to be drawn are themselves contradictory. On 
the one hand, we must admit the nominal amount of Indian 
taxation to be relatively small; but on the other, we might 
heap evidence upon evidence from Parliamentary docu- 
ments, as well as from the writings of the greatest author- 
ities on Indian affairs, all proving beyond doubt that this 
apparently light taxation crushes the mass of the Indian 
people to the dust, and that its exaction necessitates a re- 
sort to such infamies as torture, for instance. But is any 
other proof wanted beyond the constant and rapid increase 
of the Indian debt and the accumulation of Indian deficits? 
It will certainly not be contended that the Indian Govern- 
ment prefers increasing debts and deficits because it shrinks 
from touching too roughly upon the resources of the peo- 
ple. It embarks in debt, because it sees no other way to 
make both ends meet. In 1805 the Indian debt amounted 
to £25,626,631; in 1829 it reached about £34,000,000; in 
1850, £47,151,018; and at present it amounts to about 
£60,000,000. By the by, we leave out of the count the East 
Indian debt contracted in England, which is also charge- 
able upon the East Indian revenue. 

The annual deficit, which in 1805 amounted to about two 
and a half millions, had, under Lord Dalhousie's administra- 
tion, reached the average of five millions. Mr. George 


Campbell of the Bengal Civil Service, and of a mind strong- 
ly biased in favour of the Anglo-Indian Administration, was 
obliged to avow, in 1852, that: 

"Although no Oriental conquerors have ever obtained so com- 
plete an ascendancy, so quiet, universal and undisputed possession 
of India as we have, yet all have enriched themselves from the 
revenues of the country, and many have out of their abundance laid 
out considerable sums on works of public improvements. . . . From 
doing this we are debarred. . . . The quantity of the whole burden 
is by no means diminished," (under the English rule) "yet we have 
no surplus." 

In estimating the burden of taxation, its nominal amount 
must not fall heavier into the balance than the method of 
raising it, and the manner of employing it. The former is 
detestable in India, and in the branch of the land-tax, for 
instance, wastes perhaps more produce than it gets. As to 
the application of the taxes, it will suffice to say that no 
part of them is returned to the people in works of public 
utility, more indispensable in Asiatic countries than any- 
where else, and that, as Mr. Bright justly remarked, no- 
where so extravagant is a provision made for the govern- 
ing class itself. 

Written on June 29, 1858 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5383, July 23, 1858 

Karl Marx 


The latest Indian bill has passed through its third read- 
ing in the House of Commons, and since the Lords, swayed 
by Derby's influence, are not likely to show fight, the doom 
of the East India Company appears to be sealed. They do 
not die like heroes, it must be confessed; but they have 
bartered away their power, as they crept into it, bit by 
bit, in a business-like way. In fact, their whole history is 
one of buying and selling. They commenced by buying sov- 
ereignty, and they have ended by selling it. They have 
fallen, not in a pitched battle, but under the hammer of 
the auctioneer, into the hands of the highest bidder. In 
1693 they procured from the Crown a Charter for twenty- 
one years by paying large sums to the Duke of Leeds and 
other public officers. In 1767 they prolonged their tenure 
of power for two years by the promise of annually paying 
£400,000 into the Imperial Exchequer. In 1769 they struck 
a similar bargain for five years; but soon after, in return 
for the Exchequer's foregoing the stipulated annual pay- 
ment and lending them £1,400,000 at 4 per cent, they 
alienated some parcels of sovereignty, leaving to Parlia- 
ment in the first instance the nomination of the Governor- 
General and four Councillors, altogether surrendering to 
the Crown the appointment of the Lord Chief Justice and 
his three Judges, and agreeing to the conversion of the 
Court of Proprietors from a democratic into an oligarchic 
body. In 1858, after having solemnly pledged themselves 


to the Court of Proprietors to resist by all Constitutional 
"means" the transfer to the Crown of the governing pow- 
ers of the East India Company, they have accepted that 
principle, and agreed to a bill penal as regards the Com- 
pany, but securing emolument and place to its principal 
Directors. If the death of a hero, as Schiller says, resembles 
the setting of the sun,* the exit of the East India Com- 
pany bears more likeness to the compromise effected by a 
bankrupt with his creditors. 

By this bill the principal functions of administration are 
entrusted to a Secretary of State in Council, just as at Cal- 
cutta the Governor-General in Council manages affairs. 
But both these functionaries — the Secretary of State in 
England and the Governor-General in India — are alike 
authorized to disregard the advice of their assessors and to 
act upon their own judgement. The new bill also invests 
the Secretary of State with all the powers at present exer- 
cised by the President of the Board of Control, through the 
agency of the Secret Committee — the power, that is, in 
urgent cases, of dispatching orders to India without stop- 
ping to ask the advice of his Council. In constituting that 
Council it has been found necessary, after all, to resort 
to the East India Company as the only practicable source 
of appointments to it other than nominations by the Crown. 
The elective members of the Council are to be elected by 
the Directors of the East India Company from among their 
own number. 

Thus, after all, the name of the East India Company is to 
outlive its substance. At the last hour it was confessed by 
the Derby Cabinet that their bill contains no clause abo- 
lishing the East India Company, as represented by a Court 
of Directors, but that it becomes reduced to its ancient 
character of a company of stockholders, distributing the 
dividends guaranteed by different acts of legislation. Pitt's 
bill of 1784 virtually subjected their government to the 

* Schiller, The Robbers, Act 3, Scene 2.— Ed. 


sway of the Cabinet under the name of the Board of Con- 
trol. The act of 1813 stripped them of their monopoly of 
commerce, save the trade with China. The act of 1834 de- 
stroyed their commercial character altogether, and the act 
of 1854 annihilated their last remnant of power, still leav- 
ing them in possession of the Indian Administration. By 
the rotation of history the East India Company, converted 
in 1612 into a joint-stock company, is again clothed in its 
primitive garb, only that it represents now a trading part- 
nership without trade, and a joint-stock company which 
has no funds to administer, but only fixed dividends to 


The history of the Indian bill is marked by greater dra- 
matic changes than any other act of modern Parliamentary 
legislation. When the sepoy insurrection broke out, the cry 
of Indian Reform rang through all classes of British society. 
Popular imagination was heated by the torture reports; the 
Government interference with the native religion was 
loudly denounced by Indian general officers and civilians 
of high standing; the rapacious annexation policy of Lord 
Dalhousie, the mere tool of Downing Street; the fermenta- 
tion recklessly created in the Asiatic mind by the piratical 
wars in Persia and China — wars commenced and pursued 
on Palmerston's private dictation — the weak measures with 
which he met the outbreak, sailing ships being chosen for 
transport in preference to steam vessels, and the circuitous 
navigation around the Cape of Good Hope instead of trans- 
portation over the Isthmus of Suez — all these accumulated 
grievances burst into the cry for Indian Reform — reform 
of the Company's Indian Administration, reform of the Gov- 
ernment's Indian policy. Palmerston caught at the popular 
cry, but resolved upon turning it to his exclusive profit. Be- 
cause both the Government and the Company had miser- 
ably broken down, the Company was to be killed in sacri- 
fice, and the Government to be rendered omnipotent. The 
power of the Company was to be simply transferred to the 
dictator of the day, pretending to represent the Crown as 


against the Parliament, and to represent Parliament as 
against the Crown, thus absorbing the privileges of the 
one and the other in his single person. With the Indian 
army at his back, the Indian Treasury at his command, and 
the Indian patronage in his pocket, Palmerston's position 
would have become impregnable. 

His bill passed triumphantly through the first reading, 
but his career was cut short by the famous Conspiracy bill, 
followed by the advent of the Tories to power. 

On the very first day of their official reappearance on 
the Treasury benches, they declared that, out of deference 
for the decisive will of the Commons, they would forsake 
their opposition to the transfer from the Company to the 
Crown of the Indian Government. Lord Ellenborough's 
legislative abortion seemed to hasten Palmerston's resto- 
ration, when Lord John Russell, in order to force the dic- 
tator into a compromise, stepped in, and saved the Gov- 
ernment by proposing to proceed with the Indian bill by 
way of Parliamentary resolution, instead of by a govern- 
mental bill. Then Lord Ellenborough's Oudh dispatch, his 
sudden resignation, and the consequent disorganization in 
the Ministerial camp, were eagerly seized upon by Palmer- 
ston. The Tories were again to be planted in the cold shade 
of opposition, after they had employed their short lease 
of power in breaking down the opposition of their own 
party against the confiscation of the East India Company. 
Yet it is sufficiently known how these fine calculations were 
baffled. Instead of rising on the ruins of the East India 
Company, Palmerston has been buried beneath them. Dur- 
ing the whole of the Indian debates, the House seemed to 
indulge the peculiar satisfaction of humiliating the Civis 
Romanus. All his amendments, great and small, were igno- 
miniously lost; allusions of the most unsavoury kind, re- 
lating to the Afghan war, the Persian war, and the Chinese 
war, were continually flung at his head; and Mr. Glad- 
stone's clause, withdrawing from the Indian Minister the 
power of originating wars beyond the boundaries of India, 


intended as a general vote of censure on Palmerston's past 
foreign policy, was passed by a crushing majority, despite 
his furious resistance. But although the man has been 
thrown overboard, his principle, upon the whole, has been 
accepted. Although somewhat checked by the obstructive 
attributes of the Board of Council, which, in fact, is but 
the well-paid spectre of the old Court of Directors, the 
power of the executive has, by the formal annexation of 
India, been raised to such a degree that, to counterpoise 
it, democratic weight must be thrown into the Parliamen- 
tary scale. 

Written on July 9, 1858 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5384, July 24, 1858 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 


The news of the new treaty wrung from China by the 
allied Plenipotentiaries 72 has, it would appear, conjured up 
the same wild vistas of an immense extension of trade 
which danced before the eyes of the commercial mind in 
1845, after the conclusion of the first Chinese war. Sup- 
posing the Petersburg wires to have spoken truth, is it 
quite certain that an increase of the Chinese trade must 
follow upon the multiplication of its emporiums? Is there 
any probability that the war of 1857-58 will lead to more 
splendid results than the war of 1841-42? So much is cer- 
tain that the treaty of 1843. instead of increasing Amer- 
i can and English exports to Ch ina, nroved instrumental 
only in precipitating an d aggravating th e commercial crisis 
of 1 847. In a similar w ay, by raising~~d reams of an inex- 
^a ustlble~m arke t and by fostering false specu lations, the 
present treaty may help preparing a new crisis at the very 
moment when the market of the world is but slowly re- 

c overing from the recent universa l "shock^ Beside its nega- 
tive result, the first opium war succeeded in stimulating 
the opium trade at the expense of legitimate commerce, 
and so will this second opium war do, if England be 
not forced by the general pressure of the civilized 
world to abandon the compulsory opium cultivation in 
India and the armed opium propaganda to China. We 
forbear dwelling on the morality of that trade, described 


by Montgomery Martin, himself an Englishman, in the 
following terms: 

"Why, the slave-trade was merciful compared with the opium 
trade: We did not destroy the bodies of the Africans, for it was 
our immediate interest to keep them alive; we did not debase their 
nature, corrupt their minds, nor destroy their souls. But the opium 
seller slays the body after he has corrupted, degraded and anni- 
hilated the moral being of unhappy sinners, which every hour is 
bringing new victims to a Moloch which knows no satiety, and 
where the English murderer and Chinese suicide vie with each other 
in offerings at his shrine." 

The Chinese cannot take both goods and drug; under 
actual circumstances, extension of the Chinese trade re- 
solves into extension of the opium trade; the growth of 
the latter is incompatible with the development of legiti- 
mate commerce — these propositions were pretty generally 
admitted two years ago. A Committee of the House of 
Commons, appointed in 1847 to take into consideration 
the state of British commercial intercourse with China, re- 
ported thus: 

"We regret that the trade with that country has been for some 
time in a very unsatisfactory condition, and that the result of our 
extended intercourse has by no means realized the just expectations 
which had naturally been founded in a free access to so magnificent 
a market. We find that the difficulties of the trade do not arise 
from any want of demand in China for articles of British manu- 
factures, or from the increasing competition of other nations; the 
payment for opium absorbs the silver to the great inconvenience of 
the general traffic of the Chinese, and tea and silk must in fact 
pay the rest." 

The Friend of China, of July 28, 1849, generalizing the 
same proposition, says in set terms: 

"The opium trade progresses steadily. The increased consumption 
of teas and silk in Great Britain and the United States would merely 
result in the increase of the opium trade; the case of the manufac- 
turers is hopeless." 

One of the leading American merchants in China reduced, 

in an article inserted in Hunt's Merchants' Magazine, for 
14—12 209 

January, 1850, the whole question of the trade with China 
to this point: 

"Which branch of commerce is to be suppressed, the opium 
trade or the export trade of American or English produce?" 

The Chinese themselves took exactly the same view of 
the case. Montgomery Martin narrates: 

"I inquired of the Taotai* at Shanghai which would be the best 
means of increasing our commerce with China, and his first answer 
to me, in presence of Capt. Balfour, Her Majesty's Consul, was: 
'Cease to send us so much opium and we will be able to take your 
manufactures.' " 

The history of general commerce during the last eight 
years has, in a new and striking manner, illustrated these 
positions; but, before analysing the deleterious effects on 
legitimate commerce of the opium trade, we propose giv- 
ing a short review of the rise and progress of that stupen- 
dous traffic, which, whether we regard the tragical colli- 
sions forming, so to say, the axis round which it turns, or 
the effects produced by it on the general relations of the 
Eastern and Western worlds, stands solitary on record 
in the annals of mankind. 

Previous to 1767 the quantity of opium exported from 
India did not exceed 200 chests, the chest weighing about 
133 lbs. Opium was legally admitted in China on the pay- 
ment of a duty of about $3 per chest, as a medicine: the 
Portuguese, who brought it from Turkey, being its almost 
exclusive exporters into the Celestial Empire. 

In 1773, Colonel Watson and Vice-President Wheeler — 
persons deserving to take a place among the Hermentiers, 
Palmers and other poisoners of world-wide fame — suggested 
to the East India Company the idea of entering upon the 
opium traffic with China. Consequently, there was estab- 
lished a depot for opium in vessels anchored in a bay to 
the south-west of Macao. The speculation proved a failure. 

High official— Ed. 


In 1781 the Bengal Government sent an armed vessel, 
laden with opium, to China; and, in 1794, the Company 
stationed a large opium vessel at Whampoa, the anchorage 
for the port of Canton. It seems that Whampoa proved a 
more convenient depot than Macao, because, only two 
years after its selection, the Chinese Government found 
it necessary to pass a law which threatens Chinese smug- 
glers of opium to be beaten with a bamboo and exposed 
in the streets with wooden collars around their necks. 
About 1798, the East India Company ceased to be direct 
exporters of opium, but they became its producers. The 
opium monopoly was established in India, while the Com- 
pany's own ships were hypocritically forbidden from traf- 
ficking in the drug, the licences it granted for private ships 
trading to China contained a provision which attached a 
penalty to them if freighted with opium of other than the 
Company's own make. 

In 1800, the import into China had reached the number 
of 2,000 chests. Having, during the 18th century, borne the 
aspect common to all feuds between the foreign merchant 
and the national custom-house, the struggle between the 
East India Company and the Celestial Empire assumed, 
since the beginning of the nineteenth century, features 
quite distinct and exceptional; while the Chinese Emperor, 
in order to check the suicide of his people, prohibited at 
once the import of the poison by the foreigner, and its 
consumption by the natives, the East India Company was 
rapidly converting the cultivation of opium in India, and 
its contraband sale to China, into internal parts of its own 
financial system. While the semi-barbarian stood on the 
principle^of morality, the civilized opposed the principle 
of pelf. [That a giant empire, containing almost one-third 
lof the human race, vegetating in the teeth of time, insu- 
lated by the forced exclusion of general intercourse, and 
thus contriving to dupe itself with delusions of Celestial 
perfection]— that such an empire should at last be over- 
taken by the fate on occasion of a deadly duel, in which 

14* 211 


)the representative of the antiquated world appears prompt- 
ed by ethical motives, while the representative of over- 
whelming modern society fights for the privilege of buy- 
ing in the cheapest and selling in the dearest markets — 
this, indeed, is a sort of tragical couplet, stranger than 

\any poet would ever have dared to fancy. 

Written on August 31, 1858 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5433, September 20, 1858 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 

Karl Marx 


It was the assumption of the opium monopoly in India 
by the British Government, which led to the proscription 
of the opium trade in China. The cruel punishments in- 
flicted by the Celestial legislator upon his own contuma- 
cious subjects, and the stringent prohibition established at 
the China custom-houses proved alike nugatory. The next 
effect of the moral resistance of the Chinaman was the 
demoralization, by the Englishman, of the Imperial author- 
ities, custom-house officers and mandarins generally. The 
corruption that ate into the heart of the Celestial bureau- 
cracy, and destroyed the bulwark of the patriarchal con- 
stitution, was, together with the opium chests, smuggled 
into the Empire from the English store-ships anchored at 
, Whampoa. 

Nurtured by the East India Company, vainly combated 
by the Central Government at Peking, the opium trade 
gradually assumed larger proportions, until it absorbed 
about $2,500,000 in 1816. The throwing open in that year 
of the Indian commerce, with the single exception of the 
tea trade, which still continues to be monopolized by the 
East India Company, gave a new and powerful stimulus 
to the operations of the English contrabandists. In 1820, 
the number of chests smuggled into China had increased 
to 5,147; in 1821, to 7,000, and in 1824, to 12,639. Mean- 
while, the Chinese Government, at the same time that it 
addressed threatening remonstrances to the foreign mer- 


chants, punished the Kong merchants, known as their abet- 
tors, developed an unwonted activity in its prosecution of 
the native opium consumers, and, at its custom-houses, 
put into practice more stringent measures. The final result, 
like that of similar exertions in 1794, was to drive the 
opium depots from a precarious to a more convenient basis 
of operations. Macao and Whampoa were abandoned for 
the Island of Lingting, at the entrance of the Canton River, 
there to become permanently established in vessels armed 
to the teeth, and well manned. In the same way, when 
the Chinese Government temporarily succeeded in stopping 
the operations of the old Canton houses, the trade only 
shifted hands, and passed to a lower class of men, prepared 
to carry it on at all hazards and by whatever means. 
Thanks to the greater facilities thus afforded, the opium 
trade increased during the ten years from 1824 to 1834 
from 12,639 to 21,785 chests. 

Like the years 1800, 1816 and 1824, the year 1834 marks 
an epoch in the history of the opium trade. The East India 
Company then lost not only its privilege of trading in Chi- 
nese tea, but had to discontinue and abstain from all com- 
mercial business whatever. It being thus transformed from 
a mercantile into a merely government establishment, the 
trade to China became completely thrown open to English 
private enterprise, which pushed on with such vigour that, 
in 1837, 39,000 chests of opium, valued at $25,000,000, were 
successfully smuggled into China, despite the desperate 
resistance of the Celestial Government. Two facts here 
claim our attention: First, that of every step in the progress 
of the export trade to China since 1816, a disproportion- 
ately large part progressively fell upon the opium-smug- 
gling branch; and secondly, that hand in hand with the grad- 
ual extinction of the ostensible mercantile interest of the 
Anglo-Indian Government in the opium trade, grew the im- 
portance of its fiscal interest in that illicit traffic. In 1837 
the Chinese Government had at last arrived at a point where 
decisive action could no longer be dalayed. The continuous 


drain of silver, caused by the opium importations, had 
begun to derange the exchequer, as well as the moneyed 
circulation of the Celestial Empire. Hsii Nai-chi, one of 
the most distinguished Chinese statesmen, proposed to 
legalize the opium trade and make money out of it; but 
after a full deliberation, in which all the high officers of the 
Empire shared, and which extended over a period of more 
than a year's duration, the Chinese Government decided 
that, "On account of the injuries it inflicted on the people, 
the nefarious traffic should not be legalized." As early as 
1830, a duty of 25 per cent would have yielded a revenue 
of $3,850,000. In 1837, it would have yielded double that 
sum, but then the Celestial barbarian declined laving a 
tax sure to rise in pro portion to the degradation of h is 
peopl e. In 1853, Hsien Feng, the present Emperor, under 
still more distressed circumstances, and with the full 
knowledge of the futility of all efforts at stopping the in- 
creasing import of opium, persevered in the stern policy 
of his ancestors. Let me remark, en passant, that by per- 
secuting the opium consumption as a heresy the Emperor 
gave its traffic all the advantages of a religious prop- 
aganda. The extraordinary measures of the Chinese Gov- 
ernment during the years 1837, 1838 and 1839, which cul- 
minated in Commissioner Lin's arrival at Canton, and the 
confiscation and destruction, by his orders, of the smuggled 
opium, afforded the pretext for the first Anglo-Chinese 
war, the results of which developed themselves in the 
Chinese rebellion, the utter exhaustion of the Imperial ex- 
chequer, the successful encroachment of Russia from the 
North, and the gigantic dimensions assumed by the opium 
trade in the South. Although proscribed in the treaty with 
which England terminated a war, commenced and carried 
on in its defence, the opium trade has practically enjoyed 
perfect impunity since 1843. The importation was esti- 
mated, in 1856, at about $35,000,000, while, in the same 
year, the Anglo-Indian Government drew a revenue of 
$25,000,000, just the sixth part of its total state income, 


from the opium monopoly. The pretexts on which the sec- 
ond Opium War has been undertaken are of too recent date 
to need any commentary. 

l_We cannot leave this part of the subject without singling 
ouf one flagrant self-contradiction of the Christianity- 
canting and civilization-mongering British Government). In 
its imperial capacity it affects to be a thorough stranger 
to the contraband opium trade, and even to enter into 
treaties proscribing it. Yet, in its Indian capacity, it forces 
the opium cultivation upon Bengal, to the great damage of 
the productive resources of that country; compels one part 
of the Indian ryots to engage in the poppy culture; entices 
another part into the same by dint of money advances; 
keeps the wholesale manufacture of the deleterious drug 
a close monopoly in its hands; watches by a whole army 
of official spies its growth, its delivery at appointed places, 
its inspissation and preparation for the taste of the Chi- 
nese consumers, its formation into packages especially 
adapted to the conveniency of smuggling, and finally its 
conveyance to Calcutta, where it is put up at auction at 
the Government sales, and made over by the state officers 
to the speculators, thence to pass into the hands of the 
contrabandists who land it in China. The chest costing the 
British Government about 250 rupees is sold at the Cal- 
cutta auction mart at a price ranging from 1,210 to 1,600 
rupees. But not yet satisfied with this matter of fact com- 
plicity, the same Government, to this hour, enters into 
express profit and loss accounts with the merchants and 
shippers, who embark in the hazardous operation of poison- 
ing an empire. 

The Indian financ es of the British Government have, in 
fact, been made to depend not on ly on the opium trade 
with China, but o n the contrab and character of that trade . 
Were the Chinese Government to legalize the opium trade 
simultaneously with tolerating the cultivation of the poppy 
in China, the Anglo-Indian exchequer would experience a 


serious catastrophe. While openly preaching free trade in 
poison, it secretly defends the monopoly of its manufac- 
ture. Whenever we look closely into the nature of British 
free trade, monopoly is pretty generally found to lie at 
the bottom of its "freedom." 

Written on September 3, 1858 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5438, September 25, 1858 

Karl Marx 


The unsuccessful issue, in a commercial point of view, 
of Sir Henry Pottinger's Chinese treaty, 73 signed on Au- 
gust 29, 1842, and dictated, like the new treaties with 
China, at the cannon's mouth, is a fact now recollected 
even by that eminent organ of British Free Trade, The Lon- 
don Economist. Having stood forward as one of the 
staunchest apologists of the late invasion of China, that 
journal now feels itself obliged to "temper" the sanguine 
hopes which have been cultivated in other quarters. The 
Economist considers the effects on the British export trade 
of the treaty of 1842, "a precedent by which to guard our- 
selves against the result of mistaken operations." This cer- 
tainly is sound advice. The reasons, however, which Mr. 
Wilson alleges in explanation of the failure of the first 
attempt at forcibly enlarging the Chinese market for West- 
ern produce, appear far from conclusive. 

The first great cause pointed out of the signal failure 
is the speculative overstocking of the Chinese market, dur- 
ing the first three years following the Pottinger treaty, 
and the carelessness of the English merchants as to the na- 
ture of the Chinese demand. The English exports to China 
which, in 1836, amounted to £1,326,388, had fallen in 1842 
to £960,000. Their rapid and continued rise during the fol- 
lowing six years, is shown by these figures: 

1842 £969,000 1844 £2,305,000 

1843 1,456,000 1845 2,396,000 


Yet in 1846 the exports did not only sink below the level 
of 1836, but the disasters overtaking the China houses at 
London during the crisis of 1847 proved the computed 
value of the exports from 1843 to 1846, such as it appears 
in the official return tables, to have by no means corre- 
sponded to the value actually realized. If the English ex- 
porters thus erred in the quantity, they did not less so in 
the quality of the articles offered to Chinese consumption. 
In proof of the latter assertion, The Economist quotes 
from Mr. W. Cooke, the late correspondent of The Lon- 
don Times at Shanghai and Canton, the following passages: 

"In 1843, 1844 and 1845, when the northern ports had just been 
opened, the people at home were wild with excitement. An eminent 
firm at Sheffield sent out a large consignment of knives and forks, 
and declared themselves prepared to supply all China with cutlery. 
They were sold at prices which scarcely realized their freight. A 
London house, of famous fame, sent out a tremendous consignment 
of pianofortes, which shared the same fate. What happened in the 
case of cutlery and pianos occurred also, in a less noticeable man- 
ner, in the case of worsted and cotton manufactures. Manchester 
made a great blind effort when the ports v/ere opened, and that 
effort failed. Since then she has fallen into an apathy, and trusts 
to the chapter of accidents." 

Lastly, to prove the dependence of the reduction, main- 
tenance or improvement of the trade, on the study of the 
wants of the consumer, The Economist reproduces from 
the same authority the following return for the year 1856: 

1845 1846 1856 

Worsted Stuffs (pieces) . . • . 13,569 8,415 7,428 

Camlets 13,374 8,034 4,470 

Long ells 91,530 75,784 36,042 

Woollens 62,731 56,996 88,583 

Printed Cottons 100,615 81,150 281,784 

Plain Cottons 2,998,126 1,854,740 2,817,624 

Cotton Twist, lbs 2,640,098 5,324,050 5,579,600 

Now all these arguments and illustrations explain noth- 
ing beyond the reaction following the over-trade of 
1843-45. I t is a phenomenon by no means pe culiar to the 
C hinese trad e, t hat a sudden expansion of commerce should 
be followed by its violent contractions, or that a new 


mar ket, at its opening, should be choked by British over - 
sup plies; the articles throv/n upon it being not very nicely 
-calculated, in regard either to the actual wants or the pay - 
ing powers of the consumers. In fact, this is a standing 

"ft" featu re i n the history of the markets of the worl d. On 
Napoleon's fall, after the opening of the European conti- 
nent, British imports proved so disproportionate to the 
continental faculties of absorption, that "the transition 
from war to peace" proved more disastrous than the con- 
tinental system itself. Canning's recognition of the in- 
dependence of the Spanish colonies in America, was also 
instrumental in producing the commercial crisis of 1825. 
Wares calculated for the meridian of Moscow, were then 
dispatched to Mexico and Colombia. And in our own day, 
notwithstanding its elasticity, even Australia has not es- 
caped the fate common to all new markets, of having its 
powers of consumption as well as its means of payment 
over-stocked. The phenomenon peculiar to the Chin ese 
market is this, t h at since its opening by the treaty of 1842, 
the export to Great Britain of tea and silk of Chinese prod - 
uce has continually been expanding, while the import 

Ar trade into China of British manufactures has, on the whol e~ 
remained stationary . The continuous and increasing bal- 
ance of trade in favour of China might be said to bear an 
analogy to the state of commercial balance between Rus- 
sia and Great Britain; but, then, in the latter case, every- 
thing is explained by the protective policy of Russia, while 
the Chinese import duties are lower than those of any 
other country England trades with. The aggregate value of 
Chinese exports to England, which before 1842 might be 
rated at about £7,000,000, amounted in 1856 to the sum of 
about £9,500,000. While the quantity of tea imported into 
Great Britain never reached more than 50,000,000 lbs. be- 
fore 1842, it had swollen in 1856 to about 90,000,000 lbs. 
On the other hand, the importance of the British import of 
Chinese silks only dates from 1852. Its progress may be 
computed from the following figures: 


1852 1853 1854 1855 1856 

Silk imp'd lbs. 2,418,343 2,838,047 4,576,706 4,436,862 3,723,693 
Value ... £ — — 3,318,112 3,013,396 3,676,116 

Now take, on the other hand, the movement of the 

British Exports to China, Valued in Pounds Sterling 

1834 £842,825 1836 £1,326,388 

1835 1,074,708 1838 1,204,356 

For the period following the opening of the market in 
1842 and the acquisition of Hongkong by the British, we 
find the following returns: 

1845. . . . £2,359,000 1853 £1,749,597 

1846. . . . 1,200,000 1854 1,000,716 

1848. . . . 1,445,950 1855 1,122,241 

1852. . .-. 2,508,599 1856, upward of 2,000,000 

The Economist tries to account for the stationary and 
relatively decreasing imports of British manufacture into 
the Chinese market by foreign competition, and Mr. Cooke 
is again quoted to bear witness to this proposition. Accord- 
ing to this authority, the English are beaten by fair com- 
petition in the Chinese market in many branches of trade. 
The Americans, he says, beat the English in drills and sheet- 
ings. At Shanghai in 1856 the imports were 221,716 pieces 
of American drills, against 8,745 English, and 14,420 of 
American sheetings, against 1,240 English. In woollen 
goods, on the other hand, Germany and Russia are said 
to press hardly on their English rivals. We want no other 
proof than this illustration to convince us that Mr. Cooke 
and The Economist are both mistaken in the appreciation 
of the Chinese market. They consider as limited to the 
Anglo-Chinese trade features which are exactly reproduced 
in the trade between the United States and the Celestial 
Empire. In 1837, the excess of the Chinese exports to the 
United States over the imports into China was about 
£860,000. During the period since the treaty of 1842, the 
United States have received an annual average of 
£2,000,000 in Chinese produce, for which we paid in Amer- 


lean merchandise £900,000. Of the £1,602,849, to which 
the aggregate imports into Shanghai, exclusive of specie 
and opium, amounted in 1855, England supplied £1,122,241, 
America £272,708, and other countries £207,900; while the 
exports reached a total of £12,603,540, of which £6,405,040 
were to England, £5,396,406 to America, and £102,088 to 
other countries. Compare only the American exports to the 
value of £272,708, with their imports from Shanghai ex- 
ceeding £5,000,000. If, nevertheless, American competition 
has, to any sensible degree, made inroads on British traffic, 
how limited a field of employment for the aggregate com- 
merce of foreign nations the Chinese market must offer. 
The last cause assigned to the trifling importance the 
Chinese import market has assumed since its opening in 
1842, is the Chinese revolution, but notwithstanding that 
revolution, the exports to China relatively shared, in 
1851-52, in the general increase of trade, and, during the 
whole of the revolutionary epoch, the opium trade, instead 
of falling off, rapidly obtained colossal dimensions. How- 
ever that may be this much will be admitted, that all the 
obstacles to foreign imports originating in the disordered 
state of the Empire must be increased, instead of being 
diminished, by the late piratical war, and the fresh humil- 
iations heaped on the ruling dynasty. 

K p- It appears to us, after a careful survey of the history of 
Chinese commerce, that, generally speaking, the consum- 
ing and paying powers of the Celestials have been greatly 

^over-estimated. With the present economical framework of 
Chinese society, which turns upon diminutive agriculture 
and domestic manufactures as its pivots, any large import 
of foreign produce is out of the question. Still, to the amount 
of £8,000,000, a sum which may be roughly calculated to 
form the aggregate balance in favour of China, as against 
England and the United States, it might gradually absorb 
a surplus quantity of English and American goods, if the 
opium trade were suppressed. This conclusion is necessari- 
ly arrived at on the analysis of the simple fact, that the 


Chinese finances and monetary circulation, in spite of the 
favourable balance of trade, are seriously deranged by an 
import of opium to the amount of about £7,000,000. 

John Bull, however, used to plume himself on his high 
standard of morality, prefers to bring up his adverse bal- 
ance of trade by periodical war tributes, extorted from 
China on piratical pretexts. He only forgets that the Cartha- 
ginian and Roman methods of making foreign people pay, 
are, if combined in the same hands, sure to clash with, 
and destroy each other. 

Written on September 10, 1858 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 

New-York Daily Tribune, 

No. 5446, October 5, 1858 

Karl Marx 

London, December 17, 1858 

The case of Mr. William Hudson Guernsey, alias Washing- 
ton Guernsey, criminally prosecuted for stealing from the 
library of the British Colonial Office two secret dispatches 
addressed — the one on June 10, 1857, the other on July 18, 
1858— to the late Government of Lord Palmerston by Sir 
John Young, Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, 
has just been tried before Baron Martin of the Central Cri- 
minal Court, and ended in the acquittal of the accused. 
The trial was interesting, both in a political and a judicial 
point of view. It will be remembered that the Homeric 
Mr. Gladstone had hardly left London, on his extraordinary 
mission to pacify the Ionian Islands, 74 when, like a Scythian 
arrow, darted from an unseen hand, Sir John Young's dis- 
patch, which proposes to abandon the protectorate of the 
islands and surrender them to Greece, but only after hav- 
ing cut off the finest morsel by merging Corfu in the colo- 
nial domains of Great Britain, made its appearance in the 
columns of The Daily News. Great and general was the 
astonishment. The portion of the London press opposed to 
secret diplomacy congratulated Lord Derby's Cabinet on 
the bold step of initiating the public into the mystery of 
diplomatic whisperings; and The Morning Star, in its naive 
enthusiasm, proclaimed that a new epoch of international 
policy had dawned upon the United Kingdom. The sweet 
voice of praise became, however, in no time, overhowled 


by shrill and angry tones of criticism. The anti-ministerial 
press eagerly seized upon the "premeditated blunder," as 
they called it, which, they said, was aimed at nothing else 
than the destruction, in the first instance, of Mr. Glad- 
stone's political independence and at his temporary re- 
moval from the Parliamentary arena; while, at the same 
time, by an unscrupulous stroke of Machiavellian perfidy, 
his mission was to be baffled on the part of his own em- 
ployers by the publication of a document which put him 
at once in a false position toward the party he had to 
negotiate with, toward public opinion in England, and 
toward the public law of Europe. To ruin a too confiding 
rival, said The Times, The Globe, The Observer, and the 
smaller anti-ministerial fry, the Derby Cabinet had not 
hesitated to commit an indiscretion which, under existing 
circumstances, amounted to nothing less than treason. 
How could Mr. Gladstone negotiate when the Ionians were 
not only informed that a foregone conclusion was arrived 
at on the part of Britain, but when the leading Ionian pa- 
triots were compromised by the betrayal of their accept- 
ance of a plan resulting in the dismemberment of the seven 
islands? How could he negotiate in face of the European 
remonstrances, which were sure to result from such an 
infringement of the treaty of Vienna, 75 that treaty consti- 
tuting England not the owner of Corfu, but the protector 
only of the seven islands, and settling the territorial divi- 
sions of the European map forever? These newspaper ar- 
ticles were, in fact, followed by actual remonstrances on 
the part of Russia and France. 

Let me remark, en passant, that the treaty of Vienna, 
the only acknowledged code of international law in Eu- 
rope, forms one of the most monstrous fictiones juris pub- 
lici ever heard of in the annals of mankind. What is the 
first article of that treaty? The eternal exclusion of the 
Bonaparte family from the French throne; yet there sits 
Louis Napoleon, the founder of the Second Empire, ac- 
knowledged and fraternized with, and cajoled and bowed 

15 — 12 225 

to by all the crowned heads of Europe. Another article 
runs to the effect that Belgium is forever granted to Hol- 
land; while, on the other hand, for eighteen years past, the 
separation of Belgium from Holland is not only a fait 
accompli, but a legal fact. Then the treaty of Vienna pre- 
scribes that Cracow, incorporated with Austria since 1846, 
shall forever remain an independent republic; and last, 
not least, that Poland, merged by Nicholas into the Russian 
Empire, shall be an independent constitutional kingdom, 
linked with Russia by the personal bond of the Romanoff 
dynasty only. Thus, leaf after leaf has been torn out of this 
holy book of the European jus publicum, and it is only 
appealed to when it suits the interests of one party and 
the weakness of the other. 

The Derby Cabinet was evidently wavering, whether to 
pocket the unmerited praises of one part of the press, or 
meet the unmerited slanders of the other. Yet, after eight 
days' vacillation, it decided on the latter step, declared by 
a public advertisement that it had no hand in the publica- 
tion of Sir John Young's dispatches, and that an investiga- 
tion was actually going on as to the performer of the crim- 
inal trick. Finally, Mr. William Hudson Guernsey was 
traced out as the guilty man, tried before the Central 
Criminal Court, and convicted of having purloined the dis- 
patches. The Derby Cabinet consequently comes out vic- 
torious in the contest; and here the political interest of the 
trial ends. Still, in consequence of this lawsuit, the atten- 
tion of the world has been again directed to the relations 
between Great Britain and the Ionian Islands. That the 
plan of Sir John Young was no private crotchet, is con- 
clusively proved by the following extract from a public ad- 
dress of his predecessor, Sir Henry Ward, to the Ionian As- 
sembly, on the 13th of April, 1850: 

"It is not for me to speak, in the name of the British Crown, 
of that distant future which the address shadows forth, when the 
scattered members of the Greek race may be reunited in one mighty 
empire, with the consent of the European powers. But I have no 


difficulty in expressing my own opinion" (he spoke in the name of 
the British Crown) "that, if such an event be within the scope of 
human contingencies, the Sovereign and the Parliament of England 
would be equally willing to see the Ionians resume their place as 
members of the new power that would then take its place in the 
policy of the world." 

Meanwhile, the philanthropic feelings of Great Britain 
for the islands, gave themselves vent in the truly Austrian 
ferocity with which Sir Henry Ward crushed the then re- 
bellion in the islands. Out of a population of 200,000 souls, 
8,000 were punished by hanging, scourging, imprisonment 
and exile; women and children being whipped until blood 
flowed. In order not to be suspected of exaggeration, I will 
auote a British paper, The Morning Chronicle, of April 25, 

"We shudder at the awful measure of retribution which was in- 
flicted by the Court Martials, under the direction of the Lord High 
Commissioner. Death, transportation and corporal punishments were 
awarded to the wretched criminals in some cases without trial, in 
another by the rapid process of martial law. Of capital executions 
there were 21, and of other punishments a large number." 

But, then, the Britishers boast of having blessed the 
Ionians with a free Constitution and developed their mate- 
rial resources to a pitch forming a bright contrast with the 
wretched economical state of Greece proper. Now, as to 
the Constitution, Lord Grey, at the moment when he was 
given to constitution-mongering for the whole Colonial 
Empire of Great Britain, could with no good grace pass 
over the Ionian Islands; but he only gave them back what 
England for long years had fraudulently wrested from 

By a treaty drawn up by Count Capo D'Istria, and signed 
with Russia at Paris in 1815, the protection of the Ionian 
Islands was made over to the Great Britain, on the express 
condition of her abiding by the Russian Constitution 
granted to them in 1803. 7r > The first British Lord High Com- 
missioner, Sir Thomas Maitland, abrogated that Constitu- 

15* 227 

tion, and replaced it by one investing him with absolute 
power. In 1839, the Chevalier Mustoxidis, an Ionian, states 
in his Pro Memoria, printed by the House of Commons, 
June 22, 1840: 

"The Ionians do not enjoy the privilege which the communities 
of Greece used to possess even in the days of Turkish tyranny, that 
of electing their own magistrates, and managing their own affairs, 
but are under officers imposed upon them by the police. The slight 
latitude which had been allowed to the municipal bodies of each 
island of administering their own revenues has been scotched from 
them, and in order to render them more dependent, these revenues 
have been thrown into the public exchequer." 

As to the development of the material resources, it will 
suffice to say that England, Free-Trade England, is not 
ashamed to pester the Ionians with export duties, a bar- 
barous expedient which seemed relegated to the financial 
code of Turkey. Currants, for instance, the staple product 
of the islands, are charged with an export duty of 22 l J 2 
per cent. 

"The intervening seas," says an Ionian, "which form, as it were, 
the highway of the islands, are stopped, after the method of a turn- 
pike gate, at each harbour, by transit duties, which tax the com- 
modities of every name and description interchanged between island 
and island." 

Nor is this all. During the first twenty-three years of 
British administration, the taxation was increased threefold 
and the expenditure fivefold. Some reduction took place 
afterward, but then in 1850 there was a deficiency equal 
to one half of what was previously the total taxation, as 
is shown by the following table: 

Annual Taxation Expenditure 

1815 £68,459 £48,500 

1817* 108,997 87,420 

1850 147,482 170,000 

Thus, export duties on their own produce, transit duties 
between the different islands, increase of taxation and 

* First year of the British Protectorate. 


waste of expenditure are the economical blessings con- 
ferred on the Ionians by John Bull. According to his oracle 
in Printing-House Square, 77 he grasps after colonies only 
in order to educate them in the principles of public liberty; 
but, if we adhere to facts, the Ionian Islands, like India and 
Ireland, prove only that to be free at home, John Bull must 
enslave abroad. Thus, at this very moment, while giving 
vent to his virtuous indignation against Bonaparte's spy 
system at Paris, he is himself introducing it at Dublin. 

The judicial interest of the trial in question hangs upon 
one point: Guernsey's advocate confessed to the purloining 
of ten copies of the dispatches, but pleaded not guilty, 
because they had not been intended to be used for a private 
purpose. If the crime of larceny depends on the intention 
only with which foreign property is unlawfully appropri- 
ated, the criminal law is brought to a dead stop in that re- 
spect. The solid citizens of the jury-box scarcely intended to 
effect such a revolution in the conditions of property, but 
only meant to assert, by their verdict, that public doc- 
uments are the property— not of the Government, but of 
the public. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5526, January 6, 1859 

Karl Marx 



London, September 13, 1859 

At the time when England was generally congratulated 
upon the extortion from the Celestials of the treaty of 
Tientsin, 79 I tried to show that, Russia being in point of 
fact the only power benefited by the piratical Anglo- 
Chinese war, the commercial advantages accruing from the 
treaty to England were rather nugatory, while, in a polit- 
ical point of view, so far from establishing peace, that 
treaty, on the contrary, rendered resumption of war un- 
avoidable. The march of events has fully confirmed these 
views. The treaty of Tientsin has become a thing of the 
past, and the semblance of peace has vanished before the 
stern realities of war. 

Let me first state the facts as reported by the last over- 
land mail. 

The Hon. Mr. Bruce, accompanied by M. de Bourboulon, 
the French Plenipotentiary, set out with a British expedi- 
tion destined to ascend the Peiho, and to accompany the 
two ambassadors on their message to Peking. The expedi- 
tion, under the orders of Admiral Hope, consisted of seven 
steamships, ten gunboats, two troop and storeships, and 
several hundred marines and royal engineers. The Chinese, 
on their part, had objected to the mission taking that par- 
ticular route. Admiral Hope, consequently, found the en- 
trance of the Peiho barred by booms and stakes, and having 


stayed for nine days, from the 17th till the 25th June, at 
the mouth of that river, attempted its forcible passage, the 
Plenipotentiaries having joined the squadron on the 20th 
of June. On his arrival off the Peiho River, Admiral Hope 
had made sure of the Taku forts, razed during the last 
war, having been rebuilt — a fact which, be it said en pas- 
sant, he ought to have known before, since it had been offi- 
cially announced in the Peking Gazette. 

On the 25th of June, while the British attempted to force 
the Peiho passage, the Taku batteries, supported by a Mon- 
gol force of apparently 20,000 men, were unmasked, and 
opened a destructive fire on the British vessels. An engage- 
ment on land and water took place, resulting in the utter 
discomfiture of the aggressors. The expedition had to with- 
draw, after the loss of three English vessels of war, the 
Cormorant, the Lee, and Plover, and v/ith a loss of 464 
killed and wounded on the part of the British, while of the 
60 Frenchmen present 14 were killed or wounded. Five 
English officers were killed and 23 wounded, the Admiral 
himself escaping not unhurt. After this defeat, Mr. Bruce 
and M. de Bourboulon returned to Shanghai, while the 
British squadron was to station off Chinhae, Ningpo. 

On the receipt in England of these unpleasant tidings, the 
Palmerstonian press at once bestrode the British lion, and 
unanimously roared for wholesale revenge. The London 
Times, of course, affected some dignity in its appeals to 
the bloody instincts of its countrymen; but the lower class 
of Palmerstonian organs were quite grotesque in acting 
the part of Orlando Furioso. Listen, for instance, to The 
London Daily Telegraph: 

"Great Britain must attack the seaboard of China throughout 
its whole extent, invade the capital, expel the Emperor from his 
palace and possess herself of a material guaranty against future 
aggression. . . . We must cat-o'-nine-tail any dragon-decorated offi- 
cial who presumes to treat our national symbols with contumely. . . . 
Everyone of them (the Chinese generals) must be hanged as a pirate 
and a homicide to the yard-arms of a British man-of-war. It would 
be a refreshing and salutary spectacle — that of a dozen bebuttoned 


villains, with the countenances of ogres, and the apparel of buffoons, 
swinging in the sight of the population. Terror must be struck, by 
one means or the other; and we have already had more than enough 
of leniency. . . . The Chinese must now be taught to value the Eng- 
lish, who are their superiors, and ought to be their masters. . . . The 
least that can be attempted is to capture Peking; while, if a bold 
policy were adopted, the confiscation in perpetuity of Canton would 
follow. We might retain Canton as we held Calcutta, make it the 
centre of our ultra Eastern trade, compensate ourselves for the in- 
fluence of Russia on the Tartar frontiers of the Empire, and lay 
the basis of a new dominion." 

Now, from these ravings of Palmerston's penmen, let 
me return to the facts and, as far as it is possible with the 
present meagre information, try to unravel the true bear- 
ings of the untoward event. 

The first question to be answered is, whether, on the 
supposition that the treaty of Tientsin stipulates for the 
immediate access to Peking of the British Ambassador, the 
Chinese Government have committed an infraction of that 
treaty, wrung from them by a piratical war, in withstand- 
ing the forcible passage by a British squadron of the Peiho 
River? As will be seen from the news conveyed by the over- 
land mail, the Chinese authorities had objected, not to the 
British mission to Peking, but to the British armament 
ascending the Peiho. They had proposed that Mr. Bruce 
should travel by land, divested of an armament which, with 
a fresh recollection of the Canton bombardment, the Ce- 
lestials could but consider the instrument of invasion. Does 
the right of the French Ambassador to reside at London 
involve the right of forcing the river Thames at the head 
of an armed French expedition? It must certainly be allowed 
that this interpretation put by the British on the admis- 
sion to Peking of their Ambassador, sounds at least as 
strange as the discovery made by them during the last 
Chinese war, that in bombarding the town of an empire, 
you are not waging v/ar upon that empire itself, but only 
exchanging local hostilities with one of its dependencies. 
In answer to the reclamations of the Celestials, the British 


had "taken," according to their own statement, "every 
precaution to force, if necessary, admission to Peking," by 
ascending the Peiho with a rather formidable squadron. 
Even if bound to admit their pacific Ambassador, the 
Chinese were certainly warranted in resisting their armed 
expedition. In thus acting they did not infringe a treaty, 
but baffled encroachment. 

In the second instance, it may be questioned whether, 
although the abstract right of legation had been accorded 
to the British by the treaty of Tientsin, the actual enjoy- 
ment of that right had, for the present, at least, not been 
waived by Lord Elgin? A reference to "The Correspondence 
Relating to the Earl of Elgin's Special Mission to China, 
printed by command of her Majesty," will convince every 
impartial inquirer that, first, the admission to Peking of 
the English Ambassador was to take place not now, but at 
a more remote period; secondly, that his right of residence 
at Peking was qualified by various clauses; and, finally, 
that the peremptory article III in the English text of the 
treaty, relating to the Ambassador's admission, was, on 
the request of the Chinese envoys, altered in the Chinese 
text of the treaty. This discrepancy between the two ver- 
sions of the treaty is admitted by Lord Elgin himself, who, 
however, was, as he says, "compelled by his instructions 
to require the Chinese to accept, as the authoritative ver- 
sion of an international agreement, a text of which they 
did not understand a syllable." Can the Chinese be im- 
peached for acting on the Chinese text of the treaty, in- 
stead of the English one, which, according to Lord Elgin's 
admission, somewhat diverges from "the correct sense of 
the stipulation"? 

In conclusion, I will state that Mr. T. Chisholm Anstey, 
the late British Attorney-General at Hongkong, formally 
declares in a letter addressed by him to the editor of The 
London Morning Star: 

"The treaty itself, be it what it may, has been long since abro- 
gated by the violent acts of the British Government and its subor- 


dinates, to the extent at least of depriving the Crown of Great Bri- 
tain of every advantage or privilege conferred by the treaty." 

Being on the one hand harassed by the Indian difficul- 
ties, and on the other hand arming for the eventuality of 
a European war, England is likely to incur great dangers 
from this new Chinese catastrophe, probably of Palmer- 
ston's own cooking. The next result must be the break up 
of the present Administration, whose head was the author 
of the last Chinese war, while its principal members had 
passed a vote of censure on their present chief for under- 
taking that war. At all events, Mr. Milner Gibson and the 
Manchester School must either withdraw from the present 
Liberal coalition, or, a thing not very probable, in unison 
with Lord John Russell, Mr. Gladstone and his Peelite col- 
leagues, 80 compel their chief to submit to their own policy. 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5750, September 27, 1859 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 


London, September 16, 1859 

A Cabinet Council is announced for tomorrow in order 
to decide upon the course to be taken in regard to the 
Chinese catastrophe. The lucubrations of the French Moni- 
teur and The London Times leave no doubt as to the resolu- 
tions arrived at by Palmerston and Bonaparte. They want 
another Chinese war. I am informed from an authentic 
source that at the impending Cabinet Council Mr. Milner 
Gibson, in the first instance, will contest the validity of 
the plea for war; in the second instance, will protest against 
any declaration of war not previously sanctioned by both 
Houses of Parliament; and if his opinion be overwhelmed 
by a majority of votes, will secede from the Cabinet, thus 
again giving the signal for a new onslaught on Palmer- 
ston's administration and the break up of the Liberal coa- 
lition that led to the ousting of the Derby Cabinet. Pal- 
merston is said to feel somewhat nervous as to the in- 
tended proceedings of Mr. Milner Gibson, the only one of 
his colleagues whom he is afraid of, and whom he has 
characterized more than once as a man peculiarly able "in 
picking holes." It is possible that simultaneously with this 
letter you may receive from Liverpool the news of the re- 
sults of the Ministerial Council. Meanwhile, the real bear- 
ing of the case in question may be best judged, not from 
what has been printed, but from what has been willfully 
suppressed by the Palmerston organs in their first publica- 
tions of the news conveyed by the last overland mail. 


First, then, they suppressed the statement that the Rus- 
sian treaty had already been ratified, and that the Emperor 
of China had given instructions to his mandarins to receive 
and escort the American Embassy to the capital for the 
exchange of the ratified copies of the American treaty. 
These acts were suppressed with a view to stifle the sus- 
picion that would naturally arise, that the English and 
French Envoys, instead of the Court of Peking, are respon- 
sible for meeting obstacles in the transaction of their busi- 
ness, which were not encountered either by their Russian 
or American colleagues. The other, still more important, 
fact that was at first suppressed by The Times, and the 
other Palmerston organs, but is now avowed on their part, 
is that the Chinese authorities had given notice of their 
willingness to conduct the English and French Envoys to 
Peking; that they were actually in waiting to receive them 
at one of the mouths of the river, and offered them an es- 
cort if they only consented to leave their vessels and 
troops. Now, as the treaty of Tientsin contains no clause 
granting to the English and French the right of sending a 
squadron of men-of-war up the Peiho, it becomes evident 
that the treaty was violated, not by the Chinese, but by 
the English, and that on the part of the latter there existed 
the foregone conclusion to pick a quarrel just before the 
period appointed for the exchange of the ratifications. 
Nobody will fancy that the Hon. Mr. Bruce acted on his 
own responsibility in thus baffling the ostensible end aimed 
at by the last Chinese war, but that, on the contrary, he 
only executed secret instructions received from London. 
Now, it is true that Mr. Bruce was dispatched not by Pal- 
merston, but by Derby; but, then I have only to remind you 
that during the first administration of Sir Robert Peel when 
Lord Aberdeen kept the seals of the Foreign Office, Sir 
Henry Bulwer, the English Ambassador at Madrid, picked 
a quarrel with the Spanish Court, resulting in his expulsion 
from Spain, and that, during the debates in the House of 
Lords on this "untoward event," it was proved that Bul- 


wer, instead of obeying the official instructions of Aber- 
deen, had acted up to the secret instructions of Palmer- 
ston, who then sat on the Opposition benches. 

A manoeuvre has also been carried out during these last 
days in the Palmerstonian press, which leaves no doubt, at 
least to those acquainted with the secret history of Eng- 
lish diplomacy during the last thirty years, as to the real 
author of the Peiho catastrophe and the impending third 
Anglo-Chinese war. The Times intimates that the guns 
planted on the forts of Taku which caused such havoc 
among the British squadron were of Russian origin, and 
were directed by Russian officers. Another Palmerstonian 
organ is still more plain spoken. I quote: 

"We now perceive how closely the policy of Russia is interwoven 
with that of Peking; we detect great movements on the Amur; we 
discern large Cossack armies manoeuvring far beyond Lake Baikal, 
in the frozen dreamland on the twilight borders of the Old World; 
we trace the course of innumerable caravans; we espy a special 
Russian envoy (Gen. Mouravieff, the Governor of Eastern Siberia) 
making his way, with secret designs, from the remoteness of East- 
ern Siberia to the secluded Chinese metropolis; and well may public 
opinion in this country burn at the thought that foreign influences 
have had a share in procuring our disgrace and the slaughter of 
Our soldiers and sailors." 

Now, this is one of Lord Palmerston's old tricks. When 
Russia wanted to conclude a treaty of commerce with 
China, he drove the latter by the opium war into the arms 
of her northern neighbour. When Russia requested the ces- 
sion of the Amur, he brought it about by the second 
Chinese war, and now that Russia wants to consolidate 
her influence at Peking, he extemporizes the third Chinese 
war. In all his transactions with the weak Asiatic states, 
with China, Persia, Central Asia, Turkey, it has always 
been his invariable and constant rule to ostensibly oppose 
Russia's designs by picking a quarrel, not with Russia, but 
with the Asiatic State, to estrange the latter from England 


by piratical hostilities, and by this roundabout way drive 
it to the concessions it had been unwilling to yield to Rus- 
sia. You may be sure that on this occasion the whole past 
Asiatic policy of Palmerston will be again sifted, and I 
draw, therefore, your attention to the Afghan papers, or- 
dered by the House of Commons to be printed on the 8th 
June, 1839. They throw more light on Palmerston' s sinister 
policy, and the diplomatic history of the last thirty years, 
than any documents ever before printed. The case is, in a 
few words, this: In 1838 Palmerston commenced a war 
against Dost Mohammed, the ruler of Kabul, a war that 
led to the destruction of an English army, and was com- 
menced on the plea of Dost Mohammed having entered 
into a secret alliance against England with Persia land Rus- 
sia. In proof of this assertion, Palmerston laid, in 1839, be- 
fore Parliament, a Blue Book, chiefly consisting of the cor- 
respondence of Sir A. Burnes, the British Envoy at Kabul, 
with the Government at Calcutta. Burnes had been assassi- 
nated during an insurrection at Kabul against the English 
invaders, but, distrustful of the British Foreign Minister, 
had sent copies of some of his official letters to his broth- 
er, Dr. Burnes, at London. On the appearance, in 1839, of 
the "Afghan papers," prepared by Palmerston, Dr. Burnes 
accused him of having "garbled and forged the dispatches 
of the late Sir A. Burnes," and, in corroboration of his 
statement, had some of the genuine dispatches printed. But 
it was only last summer that the murder came out. Under 
the Derby Ministry, on the motion of Mr. Hadfield, the 
House of Commons ordered all the "Afghan papers" to be 
published in full, and this order has been executed in such 
a form as to constitute a demonstration, to the meanest 
capacity, of the truth of the charge of garbling and forgery, 
in the interest of Russia. On the title-page of the Blue Book 
appears the following: 

"Note. — The correspondence, only partially given in former 
returns, is here given entire, the omitted passages being marked by 
brackets, [ ]." 


The name of the official, which appears as a guaranty 
for the fidelity of the return is "J. W. Kaye, Secretary in 
Political and Secret Departments," Mr. Kaye being the 
"upright historian of the war in Afghanistan." 

Now, to illustrate the real relations of Palmerston with 
Russia, against which he pretended to have set up the Af- 
ghan war, one instance may suffice for the present. The 
Russian agent, Vicovitch, who came to Kabul in 1837, was 
the bearer of a letter from the Czar to Dost Moham- 
med. Sir Alexander Burnes obtained a copy of the letter, 
and sent it to Lord Auckland, the Governor-General of 
India. In his own dispatches, and various documents en- 
closed by him, this circumstance is referred to over and 
over again. But the copy of the Czar's letter was expunged 
altogether from the papers presented by Palmerston in 
1839, and in every dispatch in which it is referred to, such 
alterations were made as were necessary to suppress the 
circumstance of the connection of the "Emperor of Russia" 
with the mission to Kabul. This forgery was committed in 
order to suppress the evidence of the Autocrat's connec- 
tion with Vicovitch, whom, on his return to St. Petersburg, 
it suited Nicholas to formerly disavow. For instance, at 
page 82 of the Blue Book will be found the translation of 
a letter to Dost Mohammed, which reads now as follows, 
the brackets showing the words originally suppressed by 

"The Ambassador on the part of [the] Russia [or Emperor] came 
[from Moscow] to Teheran, and has been appointed to wait on the 
Sindars at Kandahar, and thence to proceed to the presence of the 
Ameer. He is the bearer of [confidential messages from the Emperor 
and of the] letters from the Russian Ambassador at Teheran. The 
Russian Ambassador recommends this man to be a most trusty in- 
dividual, and to possess full authority to make any negotiations 
[on the part of the Emperor and himself], etc., etc." 

These, and similar forgeries committed by Palmerston in 
order to protect the honour of the Czar, are not the only 
curiosity exhibited by the "Afghan papers." The invasion 


of Afghanistan was justified by Palmerston on the ground 
that Sir Alexander Burnes had advised it as a proper means 
for baffling Russian intrigues in Central Asia. Nov/ Sir 
A. Burnes did quite the contrary, and consequently all his 
appeals in behalf of Dost Mohammed were altogether sup- 
pressed in Palmerston's edition of the "Blue Book"; the 
correspondence being, by dint of garbling and forgery, 
turned quite to the reverse of its original meaning. 

Such is the man now about to enter on a third Chinese 
war, on the ostensible plea of thwarting Russia's designs 
in that quarter. 

Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 5754, October 1, 1859 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 


London, September 20, 1859 

That there is to be another civilization war against the 
Celestials seems a matter now pretty generally settled with 
the English press. Still, since the meeting of the Cabinet 
Council on Saturday last, <a remarkable change has come 
over those very papers that were foremost in the howl for 
blood. At first The London Times, in an apparent trance of 
patriotic fury, thundered at the double treachery commit- 
ted — by cowardly Mongols who lured on the bonhomme* 
of the British Admiral by studiously falsifying appearances 
and screening their artillery — by the Court of Peking, 
which, with deeper Machiavellism, had set those Mongol 
ogres to their damnable practical jokes. Curiously to say, 
although tossed on a sea of passion, The Times had, in its 
reprints, contrived to carefully expunge from the original 
reports all points favourable to the doomed Chinaman. To 
confound things may be the work of passion, but to garble 
them seems rather the operation of a cool head. However 
that b.e, on September 16, just one day before the meeting 
of the Ministers, The Times veered round, and, without 
much ado, cut one head off its Janus-headed impeachment. 
"We fear" it said, "that we cannot accuse the Mongols 
who resisted our attack on the forts of the Peiho of treach- 
ery;" but then, to make up for that awkward concession, it 
clung the more desperately to "the deliberate and perfidi- 

* Simple-minded person. — Ed. 
16—12 241 

ous violation of a solemn treaty by the Court of Peking." 
Three days later, after the Cabinet Council had been held, 
The Times, on further consideration, even "found no room 
for doubt that if Mr. Bruce and M. de Bourboulon had 
solicited the mandarins to conduct them to Peking, they 
would have been permitted to effect the ratification of the 
treaty." What, then, remains there of the treachery of the 
Court of Peking? Not a shadow even, but in its place there 
remain two doubts on the mind of The Times. "It is," says 
it, "perhaps doubtful whether, as a military measure, it was 
wise to try with such a squadron, our way to Peking. It is 
still more doubtful whether, as a diplomatic measure, it was 
desirable to use force at all." Such is the lame conclusion 
of all the indignation-bluster indulged in by the "leading 
organ," but, with a logic of its own, it drops the reasons for 
war without dropping the war itself. Another semi-govern- 
mental paper, The Economist, which had distinguished it- 
self by its fervent apology for the Canton bombardment, 
seems to take a more economical and less rhetorical view 
of things now that Mr. J. Wilson has got his appointment 
of Chancellor of the Exchequer for India. The Economist: 
brings two articles on the subject, the one political, the 
other economical; the first one winding up with the fol- 
lowing sentences: 

"Now, all these things considered, it is obvious that the article 
of the treaty, which gave our Ambassador a right of visiting or resid- 
Lng at Peking, was one literally forced upon the Chinese Govern- j 
ment; and if it were thought absolutely essential to our interests] 
that it should be observed, we think there was much room for the 
display of consideration and patience in exacting its fulfilment. No 
doubt it may be said that with such a government as the Chinese, 
delay and patience are interpreted as signs of fatal weakness, and 
therefore the most unsound policy we could pursue. But how far 
are we entitled, on this plea, to vary the principles on which we 
should assuredly act toward any civilized nation in our treatment 
of these Oriental Governments? When we have wrung out an un- 
welcome concession from their fears, it may be perhaps the most 
consistent policy to wring out, also from their fears, the immediate 
execution of the bargain in the way most convenient to ourselves. 


But if we fail in so doing — if, in the meantime, the Chinese over- 
come their fears, and insist, with a suitable display of force, on our 
consulting them as to the mode to be taken for giving our treaty- 
effect — can we justly accuse them of treachery? Are they not rather 
practising upon us our own methods of persuasion? The Chinese 
Government may — and it is very likely that it is so — have intended 
to entrap us into this murderous snare, and never have purposed 
to execute the treaty at all. If this should prove to be so, we must 
and ought to exact reparation. But it may also prove that the inten- 
tion to defend the mouth of Peiho against the recurrence of such 
a violent entry as was made good by Lord Elgin in the previous year, 
was not accompanied by any desire to break faith on the general 
articles of the treaty. As the hostile initiative came entirely from 
our side, and it was, of course, at any moment competent to our 
commanders to retire from the murderous fire, opened only for the 
defence of the forts, we cannot certainly prove any intention of 
breaking faith on the part of China. And, till proof of a deliberate 
intention to break the treaty reaches us— we think we have some 
reason to suspend our judgement, and ponder whether we may not 
have been applying to our treatment of barbarians a code of princi- 
ples not very widely different from that which they have practised 
toward ourselves." 

In a second article, on the same subject, The Economist 
dwells on the importance, direct and indirect, of the Eng- 
lish trade to China. In the year 1858, the British exports to 
China had risen to £2,876,000, while the value of the British 
imports from China had averaged upward of £9,000,000 for 
each of the last three years, so that the aggregate direct 
trade of England with China may be put down at about 
£12,000,000. But beside these direct transactions there are 
three other important trades with which, less or more, 
England is intimately connected in the circle of exchanges, 
the trade between India 'and China, the trade between 
China and Australia, and the trade between China and the 
United States. 

"Australia," says The Economist, "takes from China large quan- 
tities of tea annually, and has nothing to give in exchange which 
finds a market in China. America also takes large quantities of tea 
and some silk of a value far exceeding that of their direct exports 
to China." 

16* 243 

Both these balances in favour of China have to be 
made good by England, who is paid for this equalization 
of exchanges by the gold of Australia and the cotton of 
the United States. England, therefore, independent of the 
balance due by herself to China, has also to pay to that 
country large sums in respect to gold imported from Aus- 
tralia and cotton from America. Now this balance due to 
China by England, Australia, and the United States is, to 
a great extent, transferred from China to India, as a set-off 
against the amount due by China to India, on account of 
opium and cotton. Be it remarked, en passant, that the im- 
ports from China to India have never yet reached the 
amount of £1,000,000 sterling, while the exports to China 
from India realize the sum of nearly £10,000,000. The in- 
ference The Economist draws from these economical ob- 
servations is, that any serious interruption of the British 
trade with China would "be a calamity of greater magni- 
tude than the mere figures of exports and imports might 
at first sight suggest," and that the embarrassment con- 
sequent upon such a disturbance would not be felt in the 
direct British tea and silk trade only, but must also "affect" 
the British transactions with Australia and the United 
States. The Economist is, of course, aware of the fact that 
during the last Chinese war, the trade was not so much 
interfered with by the war as had been apprehended; and 
that, at the port of Shanghai, it was even not affected at 
all. But then, The Economist calls attention upon "two 
novel features in the present dispute" which might essen- 
tially modify the effects of a new Chinese war upon trade 
—these two novel features being the "Imperial" not "local" 
character of the present conflict, and the "signal success" 
which, for the first time, the Chinese have effected against 
European forces. 

How very different sounds this language from the war 
cry The Economist so lustily shouted at the time of the 
lorcha affair. 

The Ministerial Council, as I anticipated in my last let- 


ter, witnessed Mr. Milner Gibson's protest against the 
war, and his menace of seceding from the Cabinet, should 
Palmerston act up to the foregone conclusions betrayed in 
the columns of the French Moniteur. For the moment Pal- 
merston prevented any rupture of the Cabinet, and the 
Liberal Coalition, by the statement that the force indis- 
pensable for the protection of British trade should be gath- 
ered in the Chinese waters, while before the arrival of 
more explicit reports on the part of the British Envoy, no 
resolution should be taken as to the war question. Thus 
the burning question was put off. Palmerston's real inten- 
tion, however, transpires through the columns of his mob- 
organ, The Daily Telegraph, which in one of its recent num- 
bers says: 

"Should any event lead to a vote unfavourable to the Govern- 
ment, in the course of next year, an appeal will certainly be made 
to the constituencies. . . . The House of Commons will test the result 
of their activity by a verdict on the Chinese question, seeing that 
to the professional malignants, headed by Mr. Disraeli, must be 
added the Cosmopolitans, who declare that the Mongols were thor- 
oughly in the right." 

The fix in which the Tories are hemmed up, by having 
allowed themselves to become inveigled into the respon- 
sible editorship of events planned by Palmerston and en- 
acted by two of his agents, Lord Elgin and Mr. Bruce (Lord 
Elgin's brother), I shall, perhaps, find another occasion of 
remarking upon. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5761, October 10, 1859 


London, September 30, 1859 

In a former letter I asserted that the Peiho conflict had 
not sprung from accident, but, on the contrary, been be- 
forehand prepared by Lord Elgin, acting upon Palmerston's 
secret instructions, and fastening upon Lord Malmesbury, 
the Tory Foreign Minister, the project of the noble Vis- 
count, then seated at the head of the Opposition benches. 
Now, first, the idea of the "accidents" in China arising 
from "instructions" drawn up by the present British Pre- 
mier is so far from being new, that, during the debates on 
the lorcha war, it was suggested to the House of Commons, 
by so well informed a personage as Mr. Disraeli, and, cu- 
rious to say, confirmed by no less an authority than Lord 
Palmerston himself. On February 3, 1857, Mr. Disraeli 
warned the House of Commons in the following terms: 

"I cannot resist the conviction that what has taken place in 
China has not been in consequence of the alleged pretext, but is, in 
fact, in consequence of instructions received from home, some con- 
siderable time ago. If that be the case, I think the time has arrived 
when this House would not be doing its duty unless it earnestly 
considered whether it has any means of controlling a system, which 
if pursued, will be one, in my mind, fatal to the interests of this 

And Lord Palmerston most coolly replied: 

"The right hon. gentleman says the course of events appeared 
to be the result of some system predetermined by the Government 
at home. Undoubtedly it was." 


In the present instance, a cursory glance at the Blue 
Book, entitled: "Correspondence Relative to the Earl of 
j Elgin's special missions to China and Japan, 1857-59," will 
I show, how the event, that occurred at the Peiho, on the 
[ 25th June, was already receded by Lord Elgin on the 2d 
of March. Page 484 of the said correspondence, we find 
! the following two dispatches: 

The Earl of Elgin to Rear-Admiral Sir Michael Seymour 

Furious, March 2, 1859. 

"Sir: With reference to my dispatch to your Excellency of the 
17th ult., I would beg leave to state that I entertain some hope that 
the decision come to by her Majesty's Government on the subject 
of the permanent residence of a British Ambassador at Peking, 
which I communicated to your Excellency in a conversation yester- 
day, may induce the Chinese Government to receive, in a becoming 
manner, the representative of her Majesty, when he proceeds to 
Peking for the exchange of ratifications of the treaty of Tientsin. 
At the same time, it is no doubt possible that this hope may not 
be realized, and, at any rate, I apprehend that her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment will desire that our Ambassador, when he proceeds to 
Tientsin, be accompanied by an imposing force. Under these circum- 
stances, I would venture to submit, for your Excellency's considera- 
tion, whether it would not be expedient to concentrate at Shanghai, 
at the earliest convenient period, a sufficient fleet of gunboats for 
this service, as Mr. Bruce's arrival in China cannot long be delayed. 
I have, etc. 

"Elgin and Kincardine" 

The Earl of Malmesbury to the Earl of Elgin 

Foreign Office, May 2, 1859 
"My Lord: I have received your Excellency's dispatch of the 7th 
of March, 1859, and I have to inform you that her Majesty's Gov- 
ernment approve of the note, of which a copy is therein enclosed, 
and in which your Excellency announced to the Imperial Commis- 
sioner that her Majesty's Government would not insist upon the 
residence of her Majesty's Minister being permanently fixed at 

"Her Majesty's Government also approve of your having sug- 
gested to Rear-Admiral Seymour that a fleet of gunboats should 
be collected at Shanghai in order to accompany Mr. Bruce up the 

"I am, Malmesbury" 

Lord Elgin, then, knows beforehand that the British 
Government "will desire" that his brother, Mr. Bruce, be 
accompanied by "an imposing force" of "gunboats" up the 
Peiho, and he orders Admiral Seymour to make ready "for 
this service." The Earl of Malmesbury, in his dispatch 
dated May 2, approves of the suggestion intimated by Lord 
Elgin to the Admiral. The whole correspondence exhibits 
Lord Elgin as the master, and Lord Malmesbury as the 
man. While the former constantly takes the initiative and 
acts upon the instructions originally received from Pal- 
merston, without even waiting for new instructions from 
Downing Street, Lord Malmesbury contents himself with 
indulging "the desires" which his imperious subaltern anti- 
cipates him to feel. He nods assent, when Elgin states that 
the treaty being not yet ratified, they had not the right to 
ascend any Chinese river; he nods assent, when Elgin thinks 
they ought to show much forbearance toward the Chinese 
in regard to the execution of the article of the treaty relat- 
ing to the embassy to Peking; and, nothing daunted, he 
nods assent when in direct contradiction to his own for- 
mer statements, Elgin claims the right to enforce the pas- 
sage of the Peiho by an "imposing fleet of gunboats." He 
nods assent in the same way that Dogberry nodded assent 
to the suggestions of the sexton. 

The sorry figure cut by the Earl of Malmesbury, and 
the humility of his attitude, are easily understood if one 
calls to mind the cry raised on the advent of the Tory Cab- 
inet, by The London Times and other influential papers, 
as to the great peril threatening the brilliant success which 
Lord Elgin, under the instructions of Palmerston, was about 
to secure in China, but which the Tory Administration, if 
for pique only, and in order to justify their vote of cen- 
sure on Palmerston's Canton bombardment, were likely to 
baffle. Malmesbury allowed himself to be intimidated by 
that cry. He had, moreover, before his eyes and in his 
heart the fate of Lord Ellenborough, who had dared openly 
to counteract the Indian policy of the noble Viscount, and 


in reward for his patriotic courage, was sacrificed by his 
own colleagues of the Derby Cabinet. Consequently, Mal- 
mesbury resigned the whole initiative into the hands of 
Elgin, and thus enabled the latter to execute Pailmerston's 
plan on the responsibility of his official antagonists, the 
Tories. It is this same circumstance which for the present 
has put the Tories in a very dismal alternative as to the 
course to be taken in regard to the Peiho affair. Either 
they must sound the war-trumpet with Palmerston, and 
thus keep him in office, or they must turn their backs on 
Malmesbury, upon whom they heaped such sickening flat- 
teries during the last Italian war. 

The alternative is the more trying since the impending 
third China war is anything but popular with the British 
mercantile classes. In 1857 they bestrode the British lion, 
because they expected great commercial profits from a 
forcible opening of the Chinese market. At this moment, 
they feel, on the contrary, rather angry at seeing the fruits 
of the treaty obtained, all at once snapped away from their 
hold. They know that affairs look menacing enough in 
Europe and India, without the further complication of a 
Chinese war on a grand scale. They have not forgotten 
that in 1857, the imports of tea fell by upward of 24 mil- 
lions of pounds, that being the article almost exclusively 
exported from Canton, which was then the exclusively 
theatre of war, and they apprehend that this interruption 
of trade by war may now be extended to Shanghai and the 
other trading ports of the Celestial Empire. After a first 
Chinese war undertaken by the English in the interest of 
opium smuggling, and a second war carried on for the de- 
fence of the lorcha of a pirate, nothing was wanted for a 
climax but a war extemporized for the purpose of pester- 
ing China with the nuisance of permanent Embassies at 
its capital. 

Published in the Printed according to the text 

New-York Daily Tribune, of the newspaper 

No. 5768, October 18, 1859 

Karl Marx 



From the outbreak of the American war 81 the prices of 
cotton were steadily rising, but the ruinous disproportion 
between the prices of the raw material and the prices of 
yarns and cloth was not declared until the last weeks of 
August. Till then, any serious decline in the prices of cotton 
manufactures, which might have been anticipated from 
the considerable decrease of the American demand, had 
been balanced by an accumulation of stocks in first hands, 
and by speculative consignments to Chin a and India. Those 
Asiatic markets, however, were soon overdone. 

"Stocks," says The Calcutta Price Current of Aug. 7, 1861, "are 
accumulating, the arrivals since our last being no less than 24,000,000 
yards of plain cottons. Home advices show a continuation of ship- 
ments in excess of our requirements, and so long as this is the case, 
improvement cannot be looked for. . . . The Bombay market, also, 
has been greatly over-supplied." 

Some other ci rcumstances c ontribute d to contract t he 
Indian mar keTT The late famine in the north-western pro- 
vinces has been succeeded by the ravages of the cholera, 
while throughout Lower Bengal an excessive fall of rain, 
laying the country under water, seriously damaged the 
rice crops. In letters from Calcutta, which reached England 
last week, sales were reported giving a net return of 97/id. 
per pound for 40 s twist, which cannot be bought at Man- 
chester for less than ll 3 / 8 d., while sales of 40-inch shirt- 
ings, compared with present rates at Manchester, yield 


; losses at l 1 ^^-, 9d., and 12d. per piece. In the China market, 
i prices were also forced down by the accumulation of the 
s stocks imported. 

Under these circumstances, the deman d for the B ritish 
j co tton man ufacture s decreasing, their prices can, of course, 
! notkee p"pa"ce with the progressive risj TTrFtlie price or 
' the ra w material; b ut, on the contrary, the spinningTweav- 
| ing", and printing of cotton must, in many instances, cease 
I to pay the costs of production. Take, as an example, the 
following case, stated by one of the greatest Manchester 
manufacturers, in reference to coarse spinning: 

Cost of spin- 
Sept. 17,1860 Per lb. Margin per lb. 

Cost of cotton 6V 4 d. 4 d 3d 

16s warp sold for I0y 4 d. — — 

Profit, Id per lb. 

Sept. 17, 1861 

st of cotton 9 d. 2d. 3V 2 d. 

s warp sold for 11 d . — — 

Loss, l x / 2 d. per lb. 

Th e eonsumpt ionof Indian cotton is rapid ly g rowing, 
an<t_with a furtherTislT m prices, the Indian supply will 
c omefbrward at incre asing ratios; but still it remains im- 
possible to cliarige7at a few months' notice, all the condi- 
tions of production and turn the current of commerce. Eng,- 
land pays now, in fact, the penalty for her protracted mis- 
rule of that vast Indian Empire. The two main obstacles 
she has now to grapple with in her attempts at supplant- 
ing American cotton by Indian cotton, is the want of 
means of communication and transport throughout India, 
and the miserable state of the Indian peasant, disabling 
him from improving favourable circumstances. Both these 
difficulties the English have themselves to thank for. Eng- 
lish modern industry, in general, relied upon two pivots 
equally monstrous. The one was the potato as the only 


means of feeding Ireland and a great part of the English 
working class. This pivot was swept away by the potato 
disease and the subsequent Irish catastrophe. 82 A larger 
basis for the reproduction and maintenance of the toiling 
millions had then to be adopted. The second pivot of Eng- 
lish industry was the slave-grown cotton of the United 
States. The present American crisis forces them to enlarge 
their field of supply and emancipate cotton from slave- 
breeding and slave-consuming oligarchies. As long as the 
English cotton manufactures depended on slave-grown 
cotton, it could be truthfully asserted that they rested on a 
twofold slavery, the indirect slavery of the white man in 
England and the direct slavery of the black men on the 
other side of the Atlantic. 

Written on September 21, 1861 Printed according to the text 

of the newspaper 
Published in the 
New-York Daily Tribune, 
No. 6405, October 14, 1861 

Karl Marx 



London, February 21, 1870 

The silence observed by the European press about the 
infamies committed by the British oligarchic bourgeois 
government is due to several reasons. To begin with, the 
British Government is rich, and the press, as you know, is 
incorruptible. Furthermore, the British Government is a 
model government, recognized as such by the landlords, 
by the capitalists of the Continent, and even by Garibaldi 
(see his book): hence, one should not speak ill of that ideal 
government. Finally, the French republicans are so nar- 
row-minded and egoistic in spirit that they reserve all their 
wrath for the Empire. It would be a crime against freedom 
of speech to inform their compatriots that in a country of 
bourgeois freedom people are sentenced to 20 years of 
hard labour for things punishable with 6 months' imprison- 
ment in the country of cantonments. Here follow a few 
details taken from English dailies about the treatment of 
Fenian prisoners: 

Mulcahy, sub-editor of The Irish People, condemned for 
having taken part in a Fenian conspiracy, had an iron col- 
lar put round his neck at Dartmoor and was hitched to a 
cart loaded with stones. 

O'Donovan Rossa, proprietor of The Irish People, was for 
35 days kept in a dungeon with his arms chained behind 
his back night and day. He was not even unshackled to 
take his food — the meagre brew that was left for him on 
the prison floor. 


Although Kickham, one of the editors of The Irish Peo- 
ple, did not have the use of his right hand owing to an 
abscess, he was made to sit with his companions on a pile 
of rubbish in the fog and cold of November and to break 
stones and bricks with his right hand. For the night he 
was taken back to his cell, and had nothing more to sus- 
tain him than six ounces of bread and a pint of warm 

O'Leary, an old man of sixty or seventy, was while in 
prison put on bread and water for three weeks because he 
did not want to renounce his paganism (that, evidently, is 
what the gaoler calls free thinking) and to become either 
papist, protestant, presbyterian, or even Quaker, or em- 
brace one of the numerous religions which the governor 
of the prison offered for the Irish pagan's choice. 

Martin H. Carey is incarcerated in an insane asylum at 
Mill-Bank; the silence that was imposed on him and other 
ill treatment made him lose his reason. 

Colonel Richard Burke is in no better condition. One of 
his friends writes that his reason is affected, that he has 
lost his memory and that his ways, his manners and his 
speech indicate insanity. 

Political prisoners are transferred from one prison to 
another as though they were wild beasts. The company of 
the vilest rogues is imposed on them; they are obliged to 
scour utensils which were used by these miserables, to 
wear the shirts and flannels of these criminals, many of 
whom are afflicted with the most disgusting diseases, and 
to wash in water which these latter had already used. All 
these criminals were allowed to speak with visitors until 
the arrival of the Fenians to Portland. A visiting cage was 
installed for the Fenian prisoners. It consisted of three 
compartments separated by thick iron bars; the gaoler oc- 
cupies the central compartment, and the prisoner and his 
friends cannot see each other but through this double row 
of bars. 


There are prisoners in the docks who eat all the snails, 
and frogs are considered a delicacy at Chatham. General 
Thomas Burke declares that he was not surprised to see 
a dead mouse floating in the soup. The condemned say 
that it was an unhappy day for them when the Fenians 
were brought to the prisons. (The routine has become 
much stricter.) 

I shall add a few words to the above: 

Last year Mr. Bruce, Minister for the Interior, grand 
Liberal, grand policeman, grand proprietor of mines in 
Wales, and a fierce exploiter of labour, was interpellated 
on the bad treatment of Fenian prisoners and especially 
O'Donovan Rossa. At first he denied everything; later he 
was compelled to admit it. Then Mr. Moore, Irish member 
of the House of Commons, demanded an investigation. It 
was flatly refused by that radical ministry of which that 
demi-saint (he has been publicly compared to Jesus Christ) 
Mr. Gladstone is head and the old bourgeois demagogue 
John Bright is one of the most influential members. 

Lately, after the rumours of bad treatment were re- 
newed, a few M.P.s demanded permission from Minister 
Bruce to visit the prisoners, in order to be able to state the 
falsity of these rumours. Mr. Bruce refused the permission 
because, he said, the governors of the prisons feared that 
the prisoners would be excited by visits of that kind. 

Last week the Minister for the Interior was again inter- 
pellated. He was asked whether it was true that after his 
nomination as deputy for Tipperary O'Donovan Rossa re- 
ceived corporal punishment (i.e., was whipped); the Minis- 
ter declared that this did not happen after 1868 (which 
goes to say that in the course of two to three years the 
political prisoner was indeed whipped). 

I am also sending you extracts concerning Michael Ter- 
bert, a Fenian who was sentenced like all the others to 
hard labour and who served his sentence at Spike Island 
Convict Prison, Cork Country, Ireland. You will see that 


the coroner himself attributes his death to tortures. The 
inquest took place last week. 

In the course of two years more than twenty Fenian 
workers died or lost their reason by grace of the philan- 
thropy of these good bourgeois, supported by those good 

You probably know that the English press professes a 
chaste horror of the abominable general emergency laws 
which embellish beautiful France. But it is general emer- 
gency laws that — brief intervals excepted — make up the 
Irish Charter. Ever since 1793 the English Government 
has for every possible reason regularly and periodically 
suspended the operation of the Habeas Corpus Bill (the 
law which guarantees freedom of person) in Ireland and, 
in effect, every law save that of brutal force. In this man- 
ner thousands of people suspected of being Fenian support- 
ers were taken into custody in Ireland without trial or 
judgement, without. even being formally charged. Not con- 
tent with depriving them of their liberty, the English Gov- 
ernment subjected them to most savage tortures. Here is 
an example: 

One of the prisons where suspected Fenians were buried 
alive is Mountjoy Prison in Dublin. The inspector of that 
prison, Murray, is a wild beast. He has maltreated prison- 
ers in a manner so savage that a few of them went out 
of their minds. The prison doctor, O'Donnell, an excellent 
man (who has played an honourable part in the inquest of 
Michael Terbert's death) wrote letters of protest for some 
months, which he at first addressed to Murray himself. 
Since Murray did not reply to them, he addressed his re- 
ports to the superior authorities, but Murray, an expert 
gaoler, intercepted the'm. 

Finally O'Donnell addressed himself directly to Lord 
Mayo, then Viceroy of Ireland. This was at the time when 
the Tories (Derby-Disraeli) were in power. What were the 
results of these actions? The documents related to the 
affair were published by order of Parliament and . . . Doc- 


tor O'Donnell was dismissed from his post! As for Murray, 
he kept his. 

Then came the so-called radical ministry of Gladstone, 
that delicate, that unctious, that magnanimous Gladstone 
who shed such hot and sincere tears over the lot of Poerio 
and the other bourgeois maltreated by King Bomba. 84 What 
did this idol of the progressive bourgeoisie do? While in- 
sulting the Irish with his insolent rejection of their am- 
nesty demands, he not only confirmed the Monster Murray 
in his functions, but in gratitude added a fat sinecure to 
his post of chief gaoler! Such is the apostle of bourgeois 

But dust had to be thrown in the eyes of the public; one 
had to create the impression that something was being 
done for Ireland, and with grand fanfare he announced a 
law to regulate the land question (the Land Bill). But all 
this is nothing but deceit with the ultimate object of 
creating an impression in Europe, of enticing the Irish 
judges and barristers with prospects of endless litigations 
between landlords and farmers, attracting the landlords 
with promises of subventions, and luring the richer farm- 
ers with some half-concessions. 

In the lengthy introduction to his grandiloquent and 
confused discourse, Gladstone confessed that even the 
"benevolent" laws which Liberal England had granted Ire- 
land in the last hundred years have unfailingly led to that 
country's deterioration. And after that naive confession 
the selfsame Gladstone persists in torturing the men who 
want to end this wrongful and imbecile legislation. 

Published in 


No. 59, February 27, 1870 

Printed according to the text 
of the newspaper 
Translated from the French 

17 — 12 

Frederick Engels 


There are two trends in the Irish movement. The first, 
the earliest one, is the agrarian trend, which has gradually 
developed from the brigandage supported by the peasants 
and organized by the clan chiefs dispossessed by the Eng- 
lish and the major Catholic landowners (in the 17th centu- 
ry these brigands were called Tories, and it is from them 
that the present-day Tories take their name) into a spon- 
taneous peasant resistance in the districts and provinces 
against the uninvited English landlords. The names — Rib- 
bonmen, Whiteboys, Captain Rock, Captain Moonlight, etc. 
— have changed, but the form of resistance — the shooting 
not only of the more obnoxious landlords and their agents 
(collectors), but also of peasants who occupy farms from 
which others have been forcibly evicted, boycotts, threaten- 
ing letters, night raids, etc. — all this is as old as the con- 
temporary English land tenure in Ireland; that is, it began 
ait the latest at the close of the 17th century. This form 
of resistance is not to be suppressed, force can do little 
against it, and it will disappear when its causes disappear. 
But by its nature it is local and isolated and can never 
become a general form of political struggle. 

The liberal national opposition of the urban bourgeoisie, 
which, as in the case in all agrarian countries with declin- 
ing townships (Denmark, for example), has its natural 
leaders in the lawyers, came to the fore soon after the 
Union (1800). 85 This also stands in need of peasant sup- 


port, and has therefore had to search for slogans that 
would appeal to the peasants. Thus, O'Connell found one 
first in Catholic emancipation and later in the repeal of the 
Union. Lately this trend has, in view of the landlords' in- 
famies, been compelled to choose a different path. While 
the Land League pursues more revolutionary (and here 
feasible) aims in the social sphere: the total removal of 
the uninvited landlords, it acts fairly timidly in the politic- 
al sphere and only demands home rule, i.e., a local Irish 
parliament alongside and under the general all-British Par- 
liament. This too is certainly attainable in a constitutional 
manner. The frightened landlords are already clamouring 
(and even the Tories propose it) for the earliest redemption 
of peasant land in order to save what can still be saved. 
On the other hand, Gladstone says that greater self-gov- 
ernment for Ireland is quite admissible. 

After the American Civil War, Fenianism wedged itself 
in between these two trends. Hundreds of thousands of 
Irish soldiers and officers who took part in that war did 
so with the secret intent of building up an army to liberate 
Ireland. The differences between America and Britain after 
the war became the principal motive lever of the Fenians. 
If it had come to a war, Ireland would in a few months have 
become a member of the United States or at least a re- 
public under its protectorate. The sum which England so 
readily undertook and paid in the Alabama case by deci- 
sion of the Geneva arbitration was its price for buying off 
the American intervention in Ireland. 

That was the moment when the chief danger was re- 
moved. The police sufficed to settle with the Fenians. As 
in every conspiracy it was the inevitable betrayal that lent 
a hand in this, and yet it was only the leaders who betrayed 
and then became direct spies and false witnesses. The 
leaders who escaped to America dabbled there in emigrant 
revolution and mostly went to seed, like O'Donovan Rossa. 
Whoever has witnessed the European emigration of 1849- 
52 will. find all this familiar, with the sole difference, of 

17* 259 

course, that It all went on in a typically American exces- 
sive degree. 

By now many of the Fenians have doubtlessly returned 
and revived their old armed organization. They make up 
an important element in the movement and compel the 
Liberals to more resolute action. But aside from this, they 
can achieve nothing save frightening John Bull. The latter 
is admittedly weakening somewhat in the outskirts of his 
Empire, but here, close to his own home, he is still able 
to suppress any Irish revolt. Firstly, there are in Ireland 
14,000 men of the constabulary, the gendarmery, armed 
with rifles and bayonets and drilled militarily, and then 
nearly 30,000 troops of the line, which can easily be rein- 
forced with just as many more and with the English mili- 
tia. Then there is the navy. And in quelling revolts John 
Bull is known for his unmatched brutality. An Irish revolt 
has not the slightest hope of success unless there is a war 
or danger of a war externally; and just two powers might 
become dangerous: France and, still more so, the United 
States. Yet France is out of the question. And in America 
the parties are playing coy with the Irish votes, making 
many promises and keeping none. They would not think 
of getting involved in a war over Ireland. What is more, 
they stand to profit by such conditions in Ireland as would 
cause an intensive Irish migration to America. And it is 
only natural that a country which is to become the most 
populated, the wealthiest and most powerful country in 
the world within 20 years, has no particular wish to involve 
itself in adventures that might, and inevitably would, im- 
pede its gigantic internal growth. In 20 years it will speak 
an entirely different language. 

But if there were a danger of war with America the 
English would readily grant Ireland all that it demands, 
short of complete independence, which is in no case desir- 
able in view of its geographic location. 

For this reason the Irish have only the constitutional 
way open to them of gradually winning one position after 


another; in this, however, the mysterious background of 
Fenian armed conspiracy may remain a very effective ele- 
ment. But the Fenians themselves are being drawn increas- 
ingly to a type of Bakuninism; the assassination of Burke 
and Cavendish 86 could have pursued the sole aim of 
thwarting the compromise between the Land League and 
Gladstone. Yet this compromise would have been the best 
possible way out for Ireland in the present circumstances. 
The landlords are driving tenants off the land by the tens 
of thousands for being in arrears with their rent, some- 
times even with military assistance. To curb this systemat- 
ic depopulation of Ireland (the dispossessed must either 
starve or emigrate to America) is the cardinal demand of 
the day. Gladstone is prepared to introduce a bill under 
which the arrears would be settled much as the redemp- 
tion of feudal imposts was in Austria in 1848: one third by 
the peasant, another third by the government, with the 
remainder lost by the landlord. That is the proposal of the 
Land League. In this light the "heroic deed" in Phoenix 
Park appears as a purely Bakuninist, boastful and senseless 
"propagande par le fait" (propaganda by deed), if not as 
crass foolishness. If it did not have the same conse- 
quences as the similar foolishness of Hodel and Nobiling, 
this is merely due to the fact that Ireland is not part of 
Prussia. It should be left to the Bakuninists and revolution- 
ary phrase-mongers to place these childish things on the 
same footing as the assassination of Alexander II and to 
threaten with an "Irish revolution" that does not come. 
There is another thing to be borne in mind about Ire- 
land: never praise any Irish "politician" unconditionally, 
never declare yourself at one with him, until he is dead. 
Their Celtic credulity and customary exploitation of peas- 
ants (all "educated" classes, and particularly the juristic 
profession, live by it in Ireland) make the professional 
Irish politicians an easy prey to corruption. O'Connell let 
the peasants pay him a full £30,000 annually for his 


When the Union was established, which England is 
known to have bought at the cost of a million pounds in 
bribes, one of the bribed was rebuked: ''You have sold 
your fatherland," to which he replied with a laugh: "And 
damned glad I was that I had a fatherland to sell." 

Published in Printed according to the text 

Der Sozialdemokrat, of the newspaper 

No. 29, July 13, 1882 Translated from the German 

Frederick Engels 



It was under the fostering wing of protection that the 
system of modern industry — production by steam-moved 
machinery — was hatched and developed in England during 
the last third of the 18th century. And, as if tariff -protec- 
tion was not sufficient, the wars against the French Revo- 
lution helped to secure to England the monopoly of the 
new industrial methods. For more than twenty years Eng- 
lish men-of-war cut off the industrial rivals of England 
from their respective colonial markets, while they forcibly 
opened these markets to English commerce. The secession 
of the South American colonies from the rule of their 
European mother countries, the conquest by England of 
all French and Dutch colonies worth having, the progres- 
sive subjugation of India, turned the people of all these 
immense territories into customers for English goods. 
England thus supplemented the protection she practised 
at home, by the Free Trade she forced upon her possible 
customers abroad; and, thanks to this happy mixture of 
both systems, at the end of the wars, in 1815, she found 
herself, with regard to all important branches of industry, in 
possession of the virtual monopoly of the trade of the world. 

This monopoly was further extended and strengthened 
during the ensuing years of peace. The start which England 
had obtained during the war, was increased from year to 
year; she seemed to distance more and more all her pos- 
sible rivals. The exports of manufactured goods in ever 


growing quantities became indeed a question of life and 
death to that country. And there seemed but two obstacles 
in the way: the prohibitive or protective legislation of 
other countries, and the taxes upon the import of raw ma- 
terials and articles of food in England. 

Then the Free Trade doctrines of classical political econ- 
omy — of the French physiocrats and their English succes- 
sors, Adam Smith and Ricardo — became popular in the 
land of John Bull. Protection at home was needless to 
manufacturers who beat all their foreign rivals, and whose 
very existence was staked on the expansion of their ex- 
ports. Protection at home was of advantage to none but 
the producers of articles of food and other raw materials, 
to the agricultural interest, which, under then existing cir- 
cumstances in England, meant the receivers of rent, the 
landed aristocracy. And this kind of protection was hurt- 
ful to the manufacturers. By taxing raw materials it raised 
the price of the articles manufactured from them; by tax- 
ing food, it raised the price of labour; in both ways, it 
placed the British manufacturer at a disadvantage as com- 
pared with his foreign competitor. And, as all other coun- 
tries sent to England chiefly agricultural products, and 
drew from England chiefly manufactured goods, repeal of 
the English protective duties on corn and raw materials 
generally, was at the same time an appeal to foreign coun- 
tries, to do away with, or at least, to reduce, in return, 
the import duties levied by them on English manufactures. 

After a long and violent struggle, the English industrial 
capitalists, already in reality the leading class of the na- 
tion, that class whose interests were then the chief national 
interests, were victorious. The landed aristocracy had to 
give in. The duties on corn and other raw materials were 
repealed. Free Trade became the watchword of the day. 
To convert all other countries to the gospel of Free Trade, 
and thus to create a world in which England was the great 
manufacturing centre, with all other countries for its de- 
pendent agricultural districts, that was the next task be- 


fore the English manufacturers and their mouthpieces, the 
political economists. 

That was the time of the Brussels Congress, the time 
when Marx prepared the speech in question. 87 While recog- 
nizing that protection may still, under certain circumstances, 
for instance in the Germany of 1847, be of advantage 
to the manufacturing capitalists; while proving that Free 
Trade was not the panacea for all the evils under which 
the working class suffered, and might even aggravate them; 
he pronounces, ultimately and on principle, in favour of 
Free Trade. To him, Free Trade is the normal condition 
of modern capitalistic production. Only under Free Trade 
can the immense productive powers of steam, of electric- 
ity, of machinery, be fully developed; and the quicker the 
pace of this development, the sooner and the more fully 
will be realized its inevitable results: society splits up into 
two classes, capitalists here, wage-labourers there; here- 
ditary wealth on one side, hereditary poverty on the other; 
supply outstripping demand, the markets being unable to 
absorb the ever growing mass of the productions of in- 
dustry; an ever recurring cycle of prosperity, glut, crisis, 
panic, chronic depression and gradual revival of trade, the 
harbinger not of permanent improvement but of renewed 
overproduction and crisis; in short, productive forces 
expanding to such a degree that they rebel, as against un- 
bearable fetters, against the social institutions under which 
they are put in motion; the only possible solution: a social 
revolution, freeing the social productive forces from the 
fetters of an antiquated social order, and the actual pro- 
ducers, the great mass of the people, from wage-slavery. 
And because Free Trade is the natural, the normal atmos- 
phere for this historical evolution, the economic medium 
in -which the conditions for the inevitable social revolution 
will be the soonest created, — for this reason, and for this 
alone, did Marx declare in favour of Free Trade. 

Anyhow, the years immediately following the victory 


of Free Trade in England seemed to verify the most extrav- 
agant expectations of prosperity founded upon that event. 
British commerce rose to a fabulous amount; the indus- 
trial monopoly of England on the market of the world 
seemed more firmly established than ever; new iron works, 
new textile factories arose by wholesale; new branches 
of industry grew up on every side. There was, indeed, a 
severe crisis in 1857, but that was overcome, and the on- 
ward movement in trade and manufactures soon was in 
full swing again, until in 1866 a fresh panic occurred, a 
panic, this time, which seems to mark a new departure in 
the economic history of the world. 

The unparalleled expansion of British manufactures and 
commerce between 1848 and 1866 was no doubt due, to a 
great extent, to the removal of the protective duties on 
food and raw materials. But not entirely. Other important 
changes took place simultaneously and helped it on. The 
above years comprise the discovery and working of trie 
Californian and Australian gold fields which increased so 
immensely the circulating medium of the world; they 
mark the final victory of steam over all other means of 
transport; on the ocean, steamers now superseded sailing 
vessels; on land, in all civilized countries, the railroad took 
the first place, the macadamized road the second; transport 
now became four times quicker and four times cheaper. No 
wonder that under such favourable circumstances British 
manufactures worked by steam should extend their sway 
at the expense of foreign domestic industries based upon 
manual labour. But were the other countries to sit still and 
to submit in humility to this change, which degraded them 
to be mere agricultural appendages of England, the "work- 
shop of the world"? 

Published in Neue Zeit Printed according to the text 

in July 1888 and in the of Marx's speech on Free 

American edition of Trade, published in America 

Marx's speech on Free 
Trade, 1889 


Karl Marx 


(Excerpt from Capital, Volume /, Chapter XXV, 
"The General Law of Capitalist Accumulation") 

In concluding this section, we must travel for a moment 
to Ireland. First, the main facts of the case. 

The population of Ireland had, in 1841, reached 8,222,664; 
in 1851, it had dwindled to 6,623,985; in 1861, to 5,850,309; 
in 1866, to 5V 2 millions, nearly to its level in 1801. The 
diminution began with the famine year, 1846, so that Ire- 
land, in less than twenty years, lost more than 5 /i 6 ths of 
its people.* Its total emigration from May, 1851, to July, 
1865, numbered 1,591,487: the emigration during the years 
1861-1865 was more than half-a-million. The number of in- 
habited houses fell, from 1851-1861, by 52,990. From 
1851-1861, the number of holdings of 15 to 30 acres in- 
creased 61,000, that of holdings over 30 acres, 109,000, 
whilst the total number of all farms fell 120,000, a fall, 
therefore, solely due to the suppression of farms under 
15 acres — i.e., to their centralisation. 

The decrease of the population was naturally accom- 
panied by a decrease in the mass of products. For our pur- 
pose, it suffices to consider the 5 years from 1861-1865 
during which over half-a-million emigrated, and the abso- 
lute number of people sank by more than i / 3 of a million. 

* Population of Ireland, 1801, 5,319,867 persons; 1811, 6,084,996; 
1821, 6,869,544; 1831, 7,828,347; 1841, 8,222,664. 


Table A 





































1,102 042 

169, 030 




From the above table it results: — 













Let us now turn to agriculture, which yields the means 
of subsistence for cattle and for men. In the following 
table is calculated the decrease or increase for each sepa- 
rate year, as compared with its immediate predecessor. 
The Cereal Crops include wheat, oats, barley, rye, beans, 
and peas; the Green Crops, potatoes, turnips, mangolds, 
beet-root, cabbages, carrots, parsnips, vetches, &c. 

* The result would be found yet more unfavourable if we went 
further back. Thus: Sheep in 1865, 3,688,742, but in 1856, 3,694,294. 
Pigs in 1865, 1,299,893, but in 1858, 1,409,883. 






















































































































































00 CNI 









































































■^H -<3< OS r— O •«■* 

o co ■«■* co m *tf 
t> t» t^ sf >* o 





























Increase or 


Acres of Cultivated Land 


Product per Acre 




1864 If 






13.3 ij 





Oats „ 

12.1 11 





Barley „ 

15.9 V 

Bere 1 
Rye j 





16.4 1* 
8.5 K 






4.1 : 



334, 212 

3, 143 



10.3 i 








10.5 i: 






9.3 11 





Flax, st. * 
(14 lb.) 

34.2 2! 




68, 924 

Hay, tons 


In the year 1865, 127,470 additional acres came under 
the heading "grass land," chiefly because the area under 
the heading of "bog and waste unoccupied," decreased by 
101,543 acres. If we compare 1865 with 1864, there is a 
decrease in cereals of 246,667 qrs., of which 48,999 were 
wheat, 160,605 oats, 29,892 barley, &c: the decrease in 
potatoes was 446,398 tons, although the area of their cul- 
tivation increased in 1865. (See Table C above.) 

From the movement of population and the agricultural 
produce of Ireland, we pass to the movement in the purse 
of its landlords, larger farmers, and industrial capitalists. 

* The data of the text are put together from the materials of 
the "Agricultural Statistics, Ireland, General Abstracts, Dublin," for 
the years 1860, et seq., and "Agricultural Statistics, Ireland. Tables 


Table C 

§H 1864 

jj'ase or 


Total P i 

r o d u c t 



Increase or 

Decrease, 1865 




875,782 Qrs. 
7,826,332 „ 

761,909 „ 
15, 160 „ 
12,680 „ 

826,783 Qrs. 
7,659,727 „ 
732,017 „ 
13,989 „ 

18,364 „ 

5,684 Qrs. 

48,999 Qrs. 
166, 605 „ 
29,892 „ 
1,171 „ 


4,312,388 ts. 

3,865,990 ts. 

446,398 ts. 


3,467,659 „ 

3,301,683 „ 

165,976 „ 

147,284 „ 
297,375 „ 

191,937 „ 
350,252 „ 

44,653 ts. 

52,877 „ 



64,506 st. 
2,607, 153 st. 

39,561 st. 
3,068,707 ts. 

461,554 „ 

24,945 st.* 

It is reflected in the rise and fall of the Income-tax. It may 
be remembered that Schedule D (profits with the excep- 
tion of those of farmers), includes also the so-called "pro- 

showing the estimated average produce, &c, Dublin, 1866." These 
statistics are official, and laid before Parliament annually. [Note to 
2nd edition. The official statistics for the year 1872 show, as com- 
pared with 1871, a decrease in area under cultivation of 134,915 
acres. An increase occurred in the cultivation of green crops, tur- 
nips, mangold-wurzel, and the like; a decrease in the area under 
cultivation for wheat of 16,000 acres; oats, 14,000; barley and rye, 
4,000; potatoes, 66,632; flax, 34,667; grass, clover, vetches, rape-seed, 
30,000. The soil under cultivation for wheat shows for the last 5 
years the following stages of decrease:— 1868, 285,000 acres; 1869, 
280,000; 1870, 259,000, 1871, 244,000; 1872, 228,000. For 1872 we 
find, in round numbers, an increase of 2,600 horses, 80,000 horned 
cattle, 68,609 sheep, and a decrease of 236,000 pigs.] 

18 — 12 



Schedule A. 

Rent of Laud .... 
Schedule B. 

Farmers' Profits . . . 
Schedule D. 

Industrial, &c, Profits 
Total Schedules A. to E. 







fessiomal" profits— i.e., the incomes of lawyers, doctors, 
&c; and the Schedules C. and E., in which no special de- 
tails are given, include the incomes of employes, officers, 
State sinecurists, State f undholders, &e. 

Table E 





Total yearly income of . 

4,368,610 divided among 

4,669.979 divided among 

17,467 persons 

18,081 persons 

Yearly income over £60 

238,626 divided among 

222,575 divided among 

and under £l00 . . . 

5,015 persons 

4,703 persons 

Of the yearly total in- 

1,979,066 divided among 

2,028,471 divided among 

11,321 persons 

12,184 persons 

Remainder of the total 

2,150,818 divided among 

2,418,933 divided among 

yearly income . . . 

1,131 persons 

1,194 persons 

( 1,083,905 divided among 

1,097,937 divided among 

910 persons 

1,044 persons 

1,066,912 divided among 

1,320,996 divided among 

121 persons 

186 persons 

430,535 divided among 
105 persons 

584,458 divided among 

122 persons 

646,377 divided among 

736,448 divided among 

26 persons 

28 persons 

262,610 divided among 

264,528 divided among 

3 persons 

3 persons* 

* The total yearly income under Schedule D. is different in this 
table from that which appears in the preceding ones, because of 
certain deductions allowed by law. 


Table D 






: 13,398,398 




; 2,937,899 












Under Schedule D. the average annual increase of in- 
come from 1853-1864 was only 0.93; whilst, in the same 
period, in Great Britain, it was 4.58. The following table 
shows the distribution of the profits (with the exception 
of those of farmers) for the years 1864 and 1865: (See 
Table E.) 

England, a country with fully developed capitalist pro- 
duction, and pre-eminently industrial, would have bled 
to death with such a drain of population as Ireland has 
suffered. But Ireland is at present only an agricultural dis- 
trict of England, marked off by a wide channel from the 
country to which it yields corn, wool, cattle, industrial and 
military recruits. 

The depopulation of Ireland has thrown much of the 
land out of cultivation, has greatly diminished the produce 
of the soil,** and, in spite of the greater area devoted to 
cattle-breeding, has brought about, in some of its branches, 
an absolute diminution, in others, an advance scarcely 
worthy of mention, and constantly interrupted by retro- 

* Tenth Report of the Commissioners of Inland Revenue. Lond. 

** If the product also diminishes relatively per acre, it must not 
be forgotten that for a century and a half England has indirectly 
exported the soil of Ireland, without as much as allowing its culti- 
vators the means for making up the constituents of the soil that 
had been exhausted. 



gressions. Nevertheless, with the fall in numbers of the 
population, rents and farmers' profits rose, although the 
latter not as steadily as the former. The reason of this is 
easily comprehensible. On the one hand, with the throw- 
ing of small holdings into large ones, and the change of 
arable into pasture land, a (larger part of the whole produce 
was transformed into surplus-produce. The surplus-produce 
increased, although the total produce, of which it formed 
a fraction, decreased. On the other hand, the money-value 
of this surplus-produce increased yet more rapidly than its 
mass, in consequence of the rise in the English market- 
price of meat, wool, &c, during the last 20, and especially 
during the last 10, years. 

The scattered means of production that serve the pro- 
ducers themselves as means of employment and of subsist- 
ence, without expanding their own value by the incorpora- 
tion of the labour of others, are no more capital than a 
product consumed by its own producer is a commodity. If, 
with the mass of the population, that of the means of 
production employed in agriculture also diminished, the 
mass of the capital employed in agriculture increased, be- 
cause a part of the means of production that were formerly 
scattered, was concentrated and turned into capital. 

The total capital of Ireland outside agriculture, employed 
in industry and trade, accumulated during the last two de- 
cades slowly, and with great and constantly recurring fluc- 
tuations; so much the more rapidly did the concentration 
of its individual constituents develop. And, however small 
its absolute increase, in proportion to the dwindling pop- 
ulation it had increased largely. 

Here, then, under our own eyes and on a large scale, a 
process is revealed, than which nothing more excellent 
could be wished for by orthodox economy for the support 
of its dogma: that misery springs from absolute surplus- 
population, and that equilibrium is re-established by de- 
population. This is a far more important experiment than 
was the plague in the middle of the 14th century so be- 


lauded of Malthusians. 88 Note further: If only the naivete" 
of the schoolmaster could apply, to the conditions of pro- 
duction and population of the 19th century, the standard 
of the 14th, this naivete, into the bargain, overlooked the 
fact that whilst, after the plague and the decimation that 
accompanied it, followed on this side of the Channel, in 
England, enfranchisement and enrichment of the agricul- 
tural population, on that side, in France, followed greater 
servitude and more misery.* 

The Irish famine of 1846 killed more than 1,000,000 peo- 
ple, but it killed poor devils only. To the wealth of the 
country it did not the slightest damage. The exodus of the 
next 20 years, an exodus still constantly increasing, did 
not, as, e.g., the Thirty Years' War, decimate, along with 
the human beings, their means of production. Irish genius 
discovered an altogether new way of spiriting a poor peo- 
ple thousands of miles away from the scene of its misery. 
The exiles transplanted to the United States, send home 
sums of money every year as travelling expenses for those 
left behind. Every troop that emigrates one year, draws 
another after it the next. Thus, instead of costing Ireland 
anything, emigration forms one of the most lucrative 
branches of its export trade. Finally, it is a systematic 
process, which does not simply make a passing gap in the 
population, but sucks out of it every year more people than 
are replaced by the births, so that the absolute level of 
the population falls year by year.** 

What were the consequences for the Irish labourers left 
behind and freed from the surplus-population? That the 

* As Ireland is regarded as the promised land of the "principle 
of population," Th. Sadler, before the publication of his work on 
population, issued his famous book, "Ireland, its Evils and their 
Remedies." 2nd edition, London, 1829. Here, by comparison of the 
statistics of the individual provinces, and of the individual counties 
in each province, he proves that the misery there is not, as Malthus 
would have it, in proportion to the number of the population, but 
in inverse ratio to this. 

** Between 1851 and 1874, the total number of emigrants amount- 
ed to 2,325,922. 


relative surplus-population is to-day as great as before 
1846; that wages are just as low, that the oppression of the 
labourers has increased, that misery is forcing the country 
towards a new crisis. The facts are simple. The revolution 
in agriculture has kept pace with emigration. The produc- 
tion of relative surplus-population has more than kept pace 
with the absolute depopulation. A glance at Table C shows 
that the change of arable to pasture land must work yet 
more acutely in Ireland than in England. In England the 
cultivation of green crops increases with the breeding of 
cattle; in Ireland, it decreases. Whilst a large number of 
acres, that were formerly tilled, lie idle or are turned per- 
manently into grass-land, a great part of the waste land 
and peat bogs that were unused formerly, become of serv- 
ice for the extension of cattle-breeding. The smaller and 
medium farmers — I reckon among these all who do not cul- 
tivate more than 100 acres — still make up about 8 / i0 ths of 
the whole number.* They are, one after the other, and with 
a degree of force unknown before, crushed by the com- 
petition of an agriculture managed by capital, and there- 
fore they continually furnish new recruits to the class of 
wage-labourers. The one great industry of Ireland, linen- 
manufacture, requires relatively few adult men and only 
employs altogether, in spite of its expansion since the 
price of cotton rose in 1861-1866, a comparatively insignif- 
icant part of the population. Like all other great modern 
industries, it constantly produces, by incessant fluctua- 
tions, a relative surplus-population within its own sphere, 
even with an absolute increase in the mass of human beings 
absorbed by it. The misery of the agricultural population 
forms the pedestal for gigantic shirt-factories, whose ar- 
mies of labourers are, for the most part, scattered over the 
country. Here, we encounter again the system described 
above of domestic industry, which in under-payment and 

* According to a table in Murphy's "Ireland Industrial, Political 
and Social," 1870, 94.6 per cent, of the holdings do not reach 100 
acres, 5.4 exceed 100 acres. , 


overwork, possesses its own systematic means for creat- 
ing supernumerary labourers. Finally, although the depop- 
ulation has not such destructive consequences as would 
result in a country with fully developed capitalistic produc- 
tion, it does not go on without constant reaction upon the 
home-market. The gap which emigration causes here, 
limits not only the local demand for labour, but also the 
incomes of small shopkeepers, artisans, tradespeople gen- 
erally. Hence the diminution in incomes between £60 and 
£100 in Table E. 

A clear statement of the condition of the agricultural 
labourers in Ireland is to be found in the Reports of the 
Irish Poor Law Inspectors (1870).* Officials of a govern- 
ment which is maintained only by bayonets and by a state 
of siege, now open, now disguised, they have to observe 
all the precautions of language that their colleagues in 
England disdain. In spite of this, however, they do not let 
their government cradle itself in illusions. According to 
them the rate of wages in the country, still very low, has 
within the last 20 years risen 50-60 per cent., and stands 
now, on the average, at 6s. to 9s. per week. But behind this 
apparent rise, is hidden an actual fall in wages, for it does 
not correspond at all to the rise in price of the necessary 
means of subsistence that has taken place in the mean- 
time. For proof, the following extract from the official 
accounts of an Irish workhouse. The price of the neces- 


Year ended 

Provisions and 




29th Sept., 1849 

Is. 3V 4 d. 
2s. 7V 4 d. 



Is. 6V 4 d. 
3s. lV 4 d. 

* "Reports from the Poor Law Inspectors on the Wages of Agri- 
cultural Labourers in Dublin," 1870. See also "Agricultural Labour- 
ers (Ireland). Return, etc." 8 March, 1861, London, 1862. 


sary means of subsistence is therefore fully twice, and 
that of clothing exactly twice, 'as much as they were 
20 years before. 

Even apart from this disproportion, the mere comparison 
of the rate of wages expressed in gold would give a result 
far from accurate. Before the famine, the great mass of 
agricultural wages were paid in kind, only the smallest 
part in money; to-day, payment in money is the rule. From 
this it follows that, whatever the amount of the real wage, 
its money rate must rise. "Previous to the famine, the la- 
bourer enjoyed his cabin . . . with a rood, or half-acre or 
acre of land, and facilities for ... a crop of potatoes. He 
was able to rear his pig and keep fowl. . . . But they now 
have to buy bread, and they have no refuse upon which 
they can feed a pig or fowl, and they have consequently no 
benefit from the sale of a pig, fowl, or eggs."* In fact, 
formerly, the agricultural labourers were but the smallest 
of the small farmers, and formed for the most part a kind 
of rear-guard of the medium and large farms on which 
they found employment. Only since the catastrophe of 
1846 have they begun to form a fraction of the class of 
purely wage-labourers, a special class, connected with its 
wage-masters only by monetary relations. 

We know what were the conditions of their dwellings 
in 1846. Since then they have grown yet worse. A part of 
the agricultural labourers, which, however, grows less day 
by day, dwells still on the holdings of the farmers in over- 
crowded huts, whose hideousness far surpasses the worst 
that the English agricultural labourers offered us in this 
way. And this holds generally with the exception of certain 
tracts of Ulster; in the south, in the counties of Cork, Lime- 
rick, Kilkenny, &c; in the east, in Wicklow, Wexford, 
&c; in the centre of Ireland, in King's and Queen's Coun- 
ty, Dublin, &c; in the west, in Sligo, Roscommon, Mayo, 
Galway, &c. "The agricultural labourers' huts," an inspector 

* I.e., pp. 29, 1. 


cries out, "are a disgrace to the Christianity and to the 
civilisation of this country."* In order to increase the at- 
tractions of these holes for the labourers, the pieces of 
land belonging thereto from time immemorial, are system- 
atically confiscated. "The mere sense that they exist sub- 
ject to this species of ban, on the part of the landlords 
and their agents, has . . . given birth in the minds of the 
labourers to corresponding sentiments of antagonism and 
dissatisfaction towards those by whom they are thus led 
to regard themselves as being treated as ... a proscribed 

The first act of the agricultural revolution was to sweep 
away the huts situated on the field of labour. This was 
done on the largest scale, and as if in obedience to a com- 
mand from on high. Thus many labourers were compelled 
to seek shelter in villages and towns. There they were 
thrown like refuse into garrets, hotels, cellars and corners, 
in the worst back slums. Thousands of Irish families, who, 
according to the testimony of the English, eaten up as 
these are with national prejudice, are notable for their 
rare attachment to the domestic hearth, for their gaiety and 
the purity of their home-hfe, found themselves suddenly 
transplanted into hotbeds of vice. The men are now obliged 
to seek work of the neighbouring farmers and are only 
hired by the day, and therefore under the most precarious 
form of wage. Hence "they sometimes have long distances 
to go to and from work, often get wet, and suffer much 
hardship, not unfrequently ending in sickness, disease and 

"The towns have had to receive from year to year what 
was deemed to be the surplus-labour of the rural divi- 
sion;**** and then people still wonder "there is still a sur- 
plus of labour in the towns and villages, and either a scar- 

* i.e., p. 12. 

. ** i.e., p. 12. 

*** I.e., p. 25. 

**** I.e., p 27. 


city or a threatened scarcity in some of the country di- 
visions."* The truth is that this want only becomes per- 
ceptible "in harvest-time, or during spring, or at such 
times as agricultural operations are carried on with activ- 
ity; at other periods of the year many hands are idle;"** 
that "from the digging out of the main crop of potatoes in 
October until the early spring following . . . there is no 
employment for them;"*** and further, that during the 
active times they "are subject to broken days and to all 
kinds of interruption."**** 

These results of the agricultural revolution — i.e., the 
change of arable into pasture land, the use of machinery, 
the most rigorous economy of labour, &c, are still further 
aggravated by the model landlords, who, instead of spend- 
ing their rents in other countries, condescend to live in 
Ireland on their demesnes. In order that the law of sup- 
ply and demand may not be broken, these gentlemen draw 
their "labour-supply . . . chiefly from their small tenants, 
who are obliged to attend when required to do the land- 
lord's work, at rates of wages, in many instances, consid- 
erably under the current rates paid to ordinary labourers, 
and without regard to the inconvenience or loss to the 
tenant of being obliged to neglect his own business at 
critical periods of sowing or reaping."*) 

The uncertainty and irregularity of employment, the 
constant return and long duration of gluts of labour, all 
these symptoms of a relative surplus-population, figure 
therefore in the reports of the Poor Law administration, 
as so many hardships of the agricultural proletariat. It will 
be remembered that we met, in the English agricultural 
proletariat, with a similar spectacle. But the difference is 
that in England, an industrial country, the industrial re- 

* i.e., p. 25. 
** I.e., p. 1. 
*** I.e., pp. 31, 32. 
**** I.e., p. 25. 
*) I.e., p. 30. 


serve recruits itself from the country districts, whilst in 
Ireland, an agricultural country, the agricultural reserve 
recruits itself from the towns, the cities of refuge of the 
expelled agricultural labourers. In the former, the super- 
numeraries of agriculture are transformed into factory 
operatives; in the latter, those forced into the towns, whilst 
at the same time they press on the wages in towns, remain 
agricultural labourers, and are constantly sent back to 
the country districts in search of work. 

The official inspectors sum up the material condition of 
the agricultural labourer as follows: "Though living with 
the strictest frugality, his own wages are barely sufficient 
to provide food for an ordinary family and pay his rent, 
and he depends upon other sources for the means of cloth- 
ing himself, his wife, and children. . . . The atmosphere of 
these cabins, combined with the other privations they are 
subjected to, has made this class particularly susceptible 
to low fever and pulmonary consumption."* After this, it 
is no wonder that, according to the unanimous testimony 
of the inspectors, a sombre discontent runs through the 
ranks of this class, that they long for the return of the 
past, loathe the present, despair of the future, give them- 
selves up "to the evil influence of agitators," and have 
only one fixed idea, to emigrate to America. This is the 
land of Cockaigne, into which the great Malthusian pan- 
acea, depopulation, has transformed green Erin. 

What a happy life the Irish factory operative leads, one 
example will show: "On my recent visit to the North of 
Ireland," says the English Factory Inspector, Robert Bak- 
er, "I met with the following evidence of effort in an Irish 
skilled workman to afford education to his children; and 
I give his evidence verbatim, as I took it from his mouth. 
That he was a skilled factory hand, may be understood 
when I say that he was employed on goods for the Man- 
chester market. 'Johnson. — I am a beetler and work from 
6 in the morning till 1 1 at night, from Monday to Friday. 

* I.e., pp. 21, 13. 


Saturday we leave off at 6 p. m., and get three hours of 
it (for meals and rest). I have five children in all. For this 
work I get 10s. 6d. a week; my wife works here also, and 
gets 5s. a week. The oldest girl who is 12, minds the house. 
She is also cook, and all the servant we have. She gets the 
young ones ready for school. A girl going past the house 
wakes me at half past five in the morning. My wife gets 
up and goes along with me. We get nothing (to eat) be- 
fore we come to work. The child of 12 takes care of the 
little children all the day, and we get nothing till breakfast 
at eight. At eight we go home. We get tea once a week; at 
other times we get stirabout, sometimes of oat-meal, some- 
times of Indian meal, as we are able to get it. In the winter 
we get a little sugar and water to our Indian meal. In the 
summer we get a few potatoes, planting a small patch 
ourselves; and when they are done we get back to stir- 
about. Sometimes we get a little milk as it may be. So we 
go on from day to day, Sunday and week day, always the 
same the year round. I am always very much tired when 
I have done at night. We may see a bit of flesh meat some- 
times, but very seldom. Three of our children attend school, 
for whom we pay Id. a week a head. Our rent is 9d. a 
week. Peat for firing costs Is. 6d. a fortnight at the very 
lowest.' "* Such are Irish wages, such is Irish life! 

In fact the misery of Ireland is again the topic of the day 
in England. At the end of 1866 and the beginning of 1867, 
one of the Irish land magnates, Lord Dufferin, set about 
its solution in The Times. "Wie menschlich von solch gros- 
sem Herrn!" 

From Table E we saw that, during 1864, of £4,368,610 of 
total profits, three surplus-value makers pocketed only 
£262,610; that in 1865, however, out of £4,669,979 total 
profits, the same three virtuosi of "abstinence" pocketed 
£274,448; in 1864, 26 surplus-value makers reached to 
£646,377; in 1865, 28 surplus-value makers reached to 

* "Rept. of Insp. of Fact., 31st Oct., 1866," p. 96. 


£736,448; in 1864, 121 surplus-vaiue makers, £1,066,912; in 
1865, 186 surplus-value makers, £1,320,996; in 1864, 1,131 
surplus-value makers, £2,150,818, nearly half of the total 
annual profit; in 1865, 1,194 surplus-value makers, 
£2,418,933, more than half of the total annual profit. But 
the lion's share, which an inconceivably small number of 
land magnates in England, Scotland and Ireland swallow 
up of the yearly national rental, is so monstrous that the 
wisdom of the English State does not think fit to afford 
the same statistical materials about the distribution of 
rents as about the distribution of profits. Lord Dufferin is 
one of those land magnates. That rent-rolls and profits can 
ever be "excessive," or that their plethora is in any way 
connected with plethora of the people's misery is, of 
course, an idea as "disreputable" as "unsound." He keeps 
to facts. The fact is that, as the Irish population diminishes, 
the Irish rent-rolls swell; that depopulation benefits the 
landlords, therefore also benefits the soil, and, therefore, 
the people, that mere accessory of the soil. He declares, 
therefore, that Ireland is still over-populated, and the 
stream of emigration still flows too lazily. To be perfectly 
happy, Ireland must get rid of at least one-third of a mil- 
lion of labouring men. Let no man imagine that this lord, 
poetic into the bargain, is a physician of the school of 
Sangrado, who as often as he did not find his patient bet- 
ter, ordered phlebotomy and again phlebotomy, until the 
patient lost his sickness at the same time as his blood. 
Lord Dufferin demands a new blood-letting of one-third 
of a million only, instead of about two millions; in fact, 
without the getting rid of these, the millennium in Erin is 
not to be. The proof is easily given. 

Centralisation has from 1851 to 1861 destroyed prin- 
cipally farms of the first three categories, under 1 and not 
over 15 acres. These above all must disappear. This gives 
307,058 "supernumerary" farmers, and reckoning the fam- 
ilies the low average of 4 persons, 1,228,232 persons. On 
the extravagant supposition that, after the agricultural 



(1) Farms 

not over 

1 acre 

(2) Farms over 

1, not over 

5 acres 

(3) Farms over 5, 
not over 15 acres 

(4) Farms over 15, 
not over 30 acres 









(5) Farms over 30, 
not over 50 acres 

(6) Farms over 50, 
not over 100 acres 

(7) Farms over 
100 acres 

(8) Total 








revolution is complete, one-fourth of these are again ab- 
sorbable, there remain for emigration 921,174 persons. 
Categories 4, 5, 6, of over 15 and not over 100 acres, are, 
as was known long since in England, too small for capital- 
istic cultivation of corn, and for sheep-breeding are almost 
vanishing quantities. On the same supposition as before, 
therefore, there are further 788,761 persons to emigrate; 
total, 1,709,532. And as l'appetit vient en mangeant, Rent- 
roll's eyes will soon discover that Ireland, with 3Y 2 m ^~ 
lions, is still always miserable, and miserable because she 
is over-populated. Therefore her depopulation must go yet 
further, that thus she may fulfil her true destiny, that of 
an English sheep-walk and cattle-pasture.** 

* The total area includes also peat, bogs, and waste land. 
** How the famine and its consequences have been deliberately 
made the most of, both by the individual landlords and by the 
English legislature, to forcibly carry out the agricultural revolution 
and to thin the population of Ireland down to the proportion satis- 
factory to the landlords, I shall show more fully in Vol. Ill of this 
work, in the section on landed property. There also I return to the 
condition of the small farmers and the agricultural labourers. At 
present, only one quotation. Nassau W. Senior says, with other 
things, in his posthumous work, "Journals, Conversations and Essays 


Like all good things in this bad world, this profitable 
method has its drawbacks. With the accumulation of rents 
in Ireland, the accumulation of the Irish in America keeps 
pace. The Irishman, banished by sheep and ox, re-appears 
on the other side of the ocean as a Fenian, and face to 
face with the old queen of the seas rises, threatening and 
more threatening, the young giant Republic: 

Acerba fata Romanos agunt 
Scelusque fraternae necis.* 

Published according to 
the English text of Capi- 
tal, Vol. I, Moscow 1958 

Relating to Ireland." 2 vols. London 1868; Vol. II, p. 282. "Well," 
said Dr. G., "we have got our Poor Law and it is a great instrument 
for giving the victory to the landlords. Another, and a still more pow- 
erful instrument is emigration. ... No friend to Ireland can wish the 
war to be prolonged [between the landlords and the small Celtic 
farmers] — still less, that it should end by the victory of the tenants. 
The sooner it is over — the sooner Ireland becomes a grazing country, 
with the comparatively thin population which a grazing country 
requires, the better for all classes." The English Corn Laws of 1815 
secured Ireland the monopoly of the free importation of corn into 
Great Britain. They favoured artificially, therefore, the cultivation 
of corn. With the abolition of the Corn Laws in 1846, this monopoly 
was suddenly removed. Apart from all other circumstances, this 
event alone was sufficient to give a great impulse to the turning of 
Irish arable into pasture land, to the concentration of farms, and to 
the eviction of small cultivators. After the fruitfulness of the Irish 
soil had been praised from 1815 to 1846, and proclaimed loudly as 
by Nature herself destined for the cultivation of wheat, English agron- 
omists, economists, politicians, discover suddenly that it is good for 
nothing but to produce forage. M. Leonce de Lavergne has hastened 
to repeat this on the other side of the Channel. It takes a "serious" 
man, a la Lavergne, to be caught by such childishness. 

* A grievous fate and dastardly fratricide hounds the Ro- 
mans.— Ed. 

Karl Marx 

(Chapter XXXI of C a p i t a I, Volume I) 

The genesis of the industrial* capitalist did not proceed 
in such a gradual way as that of the farmer. Doubtless 
many small guild-masters, and yet more independent 
small artisans, or even wage-labourers, transformed them- 
selves into small capitalists, and (by gradually extending 
exploitation of wage-labour and corresponding accumula- 
tion) into full-blown capitalists. In the infancy of capital- 
ist production, things often happened as in the infancy of 
mediaeval towns, where the question, which of the es- 
caped serfs should be master and which servant, was in 
great part decided by the earlier or later date of their 
flight. The snail's pace of this method corresponded in no 
wise with the commercial requirements of the new world- 
market that the great discoveries of the end of the 15th 
century created. But the Middle Ages had handed down 
two distinct forms of capital, which mature in the most 
different economic social formations, and which, before 
the era of the capitalist mode of production, are considered 
as capital quand raeme — usurer's capital and merchant's 

"At present, all the wealth of society goes first into the 
possession of the capitalist ... he pays the landowner his 
rent, the labourer his wages, the tax and tithe gatherer 

* Industrial here in contradistinction to agricultural. In the 
"categoric" sense the farmer is an industrial capitalist as much as 
the manufacturer. 


their claims, and keeps a large, indeed the largest, and a 
continually augmenting share, of the annual produce of 
labour for himself. The capitalist may now be said to be 
the first owner of all the wealth of the community, though 
no law has conferred on him the right to this property . . . 
this change has been effected by the taking of interest on 
capital . . . and it is not a little curious that all the law- 
givers of Europe endeavoured to prevent this by statutes, 
viz., statutes against usury. . . . The power of the capital- 
ist over all the wealth of the country is a complete change 
in the right of property, and by what law, or series of 
laws, was it effected?"* The author should have remem- 
bered that revolutions are not made by laws. 

The money capital formed by means of usury and com- 
merce was prevented from turning into industrial capital, 
in the country by the feudal constitution, in the towns by 
the guild organisation.** These fetters vanished with the 
dissolution of feudal society, with the expropriation and 
partial eviction of the country population. The new manu- 
factures were established at seaports, or at inland points 
beyond the control of the old municipalities and their 
guilds. Hence in England an embittered struggle of the 
corporate towns against these new industrial nurseries. 

The discovery of gold and silver in America, the extir- 
pation, enslavement and entombment in mines of the 
aboriginal population, the beginning of the conquest and 
looting of the East Indies, the turning of Africa into a 
warren for the commercial hunting of black-skins, signal- 
ised the rosy dawn of the era of capitalist production. 
These idyllic proceedings are the chief momenta of prim- 

* "The Natural and Artificial Rights of Property Contrasted." 
Lond., 1832, pp. 98-99. Author of the anonymous work: "Th. 

** Even as late as 1794, the small cloth-makers of Leeds sent 
a deputation to Parliament, with a petition for a law to forbid any 
merchant from becoming a manufacturer. (Dr. Aikin, "Description 
of the Country from Thirty to Forty Miles Round Manchester." 
London, 1795.) 

19 — 12 289 

itive accumulation. On their heels treads the commercial 
war of the European nations, with the globe for a theatre. 
It begins with the revolt of the Netherlands from Spain, 
assumes giant dimensions in England's Anti- Jacobin War, 
and is still going on in the opium wars against China, &c. 

The different momenta of primitive accumulation dis- 
tribute themselves now, more or less in chronological or- 
der, particularly over Spain, Portugal, Holland, France, 
and England. In England at the end of the 17th century, 
they arrive at a systematical combination, embracing the 
colonies, the national debt, the modern mode of taxation, 
and the protectionist system. These methods depend in 
part on brute force, e.g., the colonial system. But they all 
employ the power of the State, the concentrated and or- 
ganised force of society, to hasten, hothouse fashion, the 
process of transformation of the feudal mode of produc- 
tion into the capitalist mode, and to shorten the transi- 
tion. Force is the midwife of every old society pregnant 
with a new one. It is itself an economic power. 

Of the Christian colonial system, W. Howitt, a man who 
makes a speciality of Christianity, says: "The barbarities 
and desperate outrages of the so-called Christian race, 
throughout every region of the world, and upon every 
people they have been able to subdue, are not to be par- 
alleled by those of any other race, however fierce, how- 
ever untaught, and however reckless of mercy and of 
shame, in any age of the earth."* The history of the colo- 
nial administration of Holland — and Holland was the head 
capitalistic nation of the 17th century — "is one of the 
most extraordinary relations of treachery, bribery, mas- 

* William Howitt: "Colonisation and Christianity: A Popular 
History of the Treatment of the Natives by the Europeans in all 
their Colonies." London, 1838, p. 9. On the treatment of the slaves 
there is a good compilation in Charles Comte, "Traite de la Legis- 
lation." 3me ed. Bruxelles, 1837. This subject one must study in 
detail, to see what the bourgeoisie makes of itself and of the labour- 
er, wherever it can, without restraint, model the world after its 
own image. 


sacre, and meanness."* Nothing is more characteristic 
than their system of stealing men, to get slaves for Java. 
The men stealers were trained for this purpose. The thief, 
the interpreter, and the seller, were the chief agents in 
this trade, native princes the chief sellers. The young peo- 
ple stolen, were thrown into the secret dungeons of 
Celebes, until they were ready for sending to the slave- 
ships. An official report says: "This one town of Macassar, 
e.g., is full of secret prisons, one more horrible than the 
other, crammed with unfortunates, victims of greed and 
tyranny fettered in chains, forcibly torn from their fami- 
lies." To secure Malacca, the Dutch corrupted the Portu- 
guese Governor. He let them into the town in 1641. They 
hurried at once to his house and assassinated him, to "ab- 
stain" from the payment of £21,875, the price of his 
treason. Wherever they set foot, devastation and de- 
population followed. Banjuwangi, a province of Java, in 
1750 numbered over 80,000 inhabitants, in 1811 only 
18,000. Sweet commerce! 

The English East India Company, as is well known, ob- 
tained, besides the political rule in India, the exclusive 
monopoly of the tea-trade, as well as of the Chinese trade 
in general, and of the transport of goods to and from 
Europe. But the coasting trade of India and between the 
islands, as well as the internal trade of India, were the 
monopoly of the higher employes of the Company. The 
monopolies of salt, opium, betel and other commodities, 
were inexhaustible mines of wealth. The employes them- 
selves fixed the price and plundered at will the unhappy 
Hindus. The Governor-General took part in this private 
traffic. His favourites received contracts under conditions 
whereby they, cleverer than the alchemists, made gold 
out of nothing. Great fortunes sprang up like mushrooms 
in a day; primitive accumulation went on without the ad- 
vance of a shilling. The trial of Warren Hastings swarms 

* Thomas Stamford Raffles, late Lieut.-Gov. of that island: "The 
History of Java," Lond., 1817. 

19* 291 

with such cases. Here is an instance. A contract tor opium 
was given to a certain Sullivan at the moment of his de- 
parture on an official mission to a part of India far re- 
moved from the opium district. Sullivan sold his contract 
to one Binn for £40,000; Binn sold it the same day for 
£60,000, and the ultimate purchaser v/ho carried out the 
contract declared that after all he realised an enormous 
gain. According to one of the lists laid before Parliament, 
the Company and its employes from 1757-1766 got 
£6,000,000 from the Indians as gifts. Between 1769 and 
1770, the English manufactured a famine by buying up all 
the rice and refusing to sell it again, except at fabulous 

The treatment of the aborigines was, naturally, most 
frightful in plantation-colonies destined for export trade 
only, such as the West Indies, and in rich and well-popu- 
lated countries, such as Mexico and India, that were given 
over to plunder. But even in the colonies properly so- 
called, the Christian character of primitive accumulation 
did not belie itself. Those sober virtuosi of Protestantism, 
the Puritans of New England, in 1703, by decrees of their 
Assembly set a premium of £40 on every Indian scalp 
and every captured red-skin: in 1720 a premium of £100 
on every scalp; in 1744, after Massachusetts-Bay had pro- 
claimed a certain tribe as rebels, the following prices: for 
a male scalp of 12 years and upwards £100 (new cur- 
rency), for a male prisoner £105, for women and children 
prisoners £50, for scalps of women and children £50. Some 
decades later, the colonial system took its revenge on the 
descendants of the pious pilgrim fathers, who had grown 
seditious in the meantime. At English instigation and for 
English pay they were tomahawked by red-skins. The Brit- 
ish Parliament proclaimed blood-hounds and scalping as 
"means that God and Nature had given into its hand." 

* In the year 1866 more than a million Hindus died of hunger 
in the province of Orissa alone. Nevertheless, the attempt was made 
to enrich the Indian treasury by the price at which the necessaries 
of life were sold to the starving people. 


The colonial system ripened, like a hot-house, trade and 
navigation. The "societies Monopolia"* of Luther were 
powerful levers for concentration of capital. The colonies 
secured a market for the budding manufactures, and, 
through the monopoly of the market, an increased accu- 
mulation. The treasures captured outside Europe by un- 
disguised looting, enslavement, and murder, floated back 
to the mother-country and were there turned into capital. 
Holland, which first fully developed the colonial system, 
in 1648 stood already in the acme of its commercial great- 
ness. It was "in almost exclusive possession of the East 
Indian trade and the commerce between the south-east 
and north-west of Europe. Its fisheries, marine, manufac- 
tures, surpassed those of any other country. The total cap- 
ital of the Republic was probably more important than 
that of all the rest of Europe put together."** Glilich for- 
gets to add that by 1648, the people of Holland were more 
over-worked, poorer and more brutally oppressed than 
those of all the rest of Europe put together. 

To-day industrial supremacy implies commercial suprem- 
acy. In the period of manufacture properly so-called, it 
is, on the other hand, the commercial supremacy that gives 
industrial predominance. Hence the preponderant role that 
the colonial system plays at that time. It was "the strange 
God" who perched himself on the altar cheek by jowl with 
the old Gods of Europe, and one fine day with a shove and 
a kick chucked them all of a heap. It proclaimed surplus- 
value making as the sole end and aim of humanity. 

The system of public credit, i.e., of national debts, whose 
origin we discover in Genoa and Venice as early as the 
middle ages, took possession of Europe generally during 
the manufacturing period. The colonial system with its 
maritime trade and commercial wars served as a forcing- 
house for it. Thus it first took root in Holland. National 

* "Gesellschaften Monopolia." — Ed. 
** G. Gulich: "Geschichtliche Darstellung, etc." Jena 1830, Vol. I, 

p. 371.— Ed. 


debts, i.e., the alienation of the state — whether despotic, 
constitutional or republican — marked with its stamp the 
capitalistic era. The only part of the so-called national 
wealth that actually enters into the collective possessions 
of modern peoples is — their national debt.* Hence, as a 
necessary consequence, the modern doctrine that a nation 
becomes the richer the more deeply it is in debt. Public 
credit becomes the credo of capital. And with the rise of 
national debt-making, want of faith in the national debt 
takes the place of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, 
which may not be forgiven. 

The public debt becomes one of the most powerful levers 
of primitive accumulation. As with the stroke of an en- 
chanter's wand, it endows barren money with the power 
of breeding and thus turns it into capital, without the ne- 
cessity of its exposing itself to the troubles and risks insep- 
arable from its employment in industry or even in usury. 
The state-creditors actually give nothing away, for the 
sum lent is transformed into public bonds, easily negoti- 
able, which go on functioning in their hands just as so much 
hard cash would. But further, apart from the class of lazy 
annuitants thus created, and from the improvised wealth 
of the financiers, middlemen between the government and 
the nation — as also apart from the tax-farmers, merchants, 
private manufacturers, to whom a good part of every na- 
tional loan renders the service of a capital fallen from heav- 
en — the national debt has given rise to joint-stock com- 
panies, to dealings in negotiable effects of all kinds, and 
to agiotage, in a word to stock-exchange gambling and 
the modern bankocracy. 

At their birth the great banks, decorated with national 
titles, were only associations of private speculators, who 
placed themselves by the side of governments, and, thanks 
to the privileges they received, were in a position to ad- 

* William Cobbett remarks that in England all public institu- 
tions are designated "royal"; as compensation for this, however, 
there is the "national" debt. 


vance money to the State. Hence the accumulation of the 
national debt has no more infallible measure than the suc- 
cessive rise in the stock of these banks, whose full devel- 
opment dates from the founding of the Bank of England 
in 1694. The Bank of England began with lending its 
money to the Government at 8%; at the same time it was 
empowered by Parliament to coin money out of the same 
capital, by lending it again to the public in the form of 
banknotes. It was allowed to use these notes for discount- 
ing bills, making advances on commodities, and for buying 
the precious metals. It was not long ere this credit-money, 
made by the bank itself, became the coin in which the Bank 
of England made its loans to the State, and paid, on ac- 
count of the State, the interest on the public debt. It was 
not enough that the bank gave with one hand and took 
back more with the other; it remained, even whilst receiv- 
ing, the eternal creditor of the nation down to the last 
shilling advanced. Gradually it became inevitably the recep- 
tacle of the metallic hoard of the country, and the centre 
of gravity of all commercial credit. What effect was pro- 
duced on their contemporaries by the sudden uprising of 
this brood of bankocrats, financiers, rentiers, brokers, 
stock-jobbers, &c, is proved by the writings of that time, 
e.g., by Boiingbroke's.* 

With the national debt arose an international credit 
system, which often conceals one of the sources of primi- 
tive accumulation in this or that people. Thus the villainies 
of the Venetian thieving system formed one of the secret 
bases of the capital-wealth of Holland to whom Venice in 
her decadence lent large sums of money. So also was it 
with Holland and England. By the beginning of the 18th 
century the Dutch manufactures were far outstripped. Hol- 

* "Si les Tartares inondaient l'Europe aujourd'hui, il faudrait 
bien des affaires pour leur faire entendre ce que c'est qu'un finan- 
cier parmi nous." Montesquieu, "Esprit des lois," t. IV., p. 33, 6d. 
Londres, 1769. ("If the Tartars were to invade Europe today, we 
would have our hands full to make it clear to them what a finan- 
cier is among us." — Ed.) 


land had ceased to be the nation preponderant in commerce 
and industry. One of its main lines of business, therefore, 
from 1701-1776, is the lending out of enormous amounts 
of capital, especially to its great rival England. The same 
thing is going on to-day between England and the United 
States. A great deal of capital, which appears to-day in 
the United States without any certificate of birth, was yes- 
terday, in England, the capitalised blood of children. 

As the national debt finds its support in the public 
revenue, which must cover the yearly payments for interest, 
&c, the modern system of taxation was the necessary 
complement of the system of national loans. The loans 
enable the government to meet extraordinary expenses, 
without the tax-payers feeling it immediately, but they ne- 
cessitate, as a consequence, increased taxes. On the other 
hand, the raising of taxation caused by the accumulation 
of debts contracted one after another, compels the govern- 
ment always to have recourse to new loans for new extra- 
ordinary expenses. Modern fiscality, whose pivot is formed 
by taxes on the most necessary means of subsistence 
(thereby increasing their price), thus contains within itself 
the germ of automatic progression. Over-taxation is not an 
incident, but rather a principle. In Holland, therefore, 
where this system was first inaugurated, the great patriot, 
De Witt, has in his "Maxims" extolled it as the best system 
for making the wage-labourer submissive, frugal, indus- 
trious, and overburdened with labour. The destructive in- 
fluence that it exercises on the condition of the wage-la- 
bourer concerns us less however, here, than the forcible 
expropriation, resulting from it, of peasants, artisans, and 
in a word, all elements of the lower middle-class. On this 
there are not two opinions, even among the bourgeois 
economists. Its expropriating efficacy is still further 
heightened by the system of protection, which forms one 
of its integral parts. 

The great part that the public debt, and the fiscal system 
corresponding with it, has played in the capitalisation of 


wealth and the expropriation of the masses, has led many 
writers, like Cobbett, Doubleday and others, to seek in 
this, incorrectly, the fundamental cause of the misery of 
the modern peoples. 

The system of protection was an artificial means of 
manufacturing manufacturers, of expropriating independent 
labourers, of capitalising the national means of production 
and subsistence, of forcibly abbreviating the transition 
from the mediaeval to the modern mode of production. The 
European states tore one another to pieces about the pat- 
ent of this invention, and, once entered into the service 
of the surplus-value makers, did not merely lay under con- 
tribution in the pursuit of this purpose their own people, 
indirectly through protective duties, directly through 
export premiums. They also forcibly rooted out, in their 
dependent countries, all industry, as, e.g., England did 
with the Irish woollen manufacture. On the continent of 
Europe, after Colbert's example, the process was much 
simplified. The primitive industrial capital, here, came in 
part directly out of the state treasury. ''Why," cries Mira- 
beau, "why go so far to seek the cause of the manufactur- 
ing glory of Saxony before the v/ar? 180,000,000 of debts 
contracted by the sovereigns!"* 

Colonial system, public debts, heavy taxes, protection, 
commercial wars, &c, these children of the true manufac- 
turing period, increase gigantically during the infancy of 
Modern Industry. The birth of the latter is heralded by a 
great slaughter of the innocents. Like the royal navy, the 
factories were recruited by means of the press-gang. Blase 
as Sir F. M. Eden is as to the horrors of the expropriation 
of the agricultural population from the soil, from the last 
third of the 15th century to his own time; with all the self- 
satisfaction with which he rejoices in this process, "essen- 
tial" for establishing capitalistic agriculture and "the due 

* Mirabeau, "De la Monarehi© Prussienne sous Frederic le 
Grand." Londres 1788, t. VI., p. 101. 


proportion between arable and pasture land" — he does not 
show, however, the same economic insight in respect to 
the necessity of child-stealing and child-slavery for the 
transformation of manufacturing exploitation into factory 
exploitation, and the establishment of the "true relation" 
between capital and labour-power. He says: "It may, 
perhaps, be worthy the attention of the public to consider, 
whether any manufacture, which, in order to be carried 
on successfully, requires that cottages and workhouses 
should be ransacked for poor children; that they should be 
employed by turns during the greater part of the night and 
robbed of that rest which, though indispensable to all, is 
most required by the young; and that numbers of both 
sexes, of different ages and dispositions, should be col- 
lected together in such a manner that the contagion of 
example cannot but lead to profligacy and debauchery; 
will add to the sum of individual or national felicity?"* 

"In the counties of Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, and 
more particularly in Lancashire," says Fielden, "the newly- 
invented machinery was used in large factories built on 
the sides of streams capable of turning the water-wheel. 
Thousands of hands were suddenly required in these 
places, remote from towns; and Lancashire, in particular, 
being, till then, comparatively thinly populated and barren, 
a population was all that she now wanted. The small and 
nimble fingers of little children being by very far the most 
in request, the custom instantly sprang up of procuring 
apprentices from the different parish workhouses of Lon- 
don, Birmingham, and elsewhere. Many, many thousands 
of these little, hapless creatures were sent down into the 
north, being from the age of 7 to the age of 13 or 14 years 
old. The custom was for the master to clothe his appren- 
tices and to feed and lodge them in an "apprentice house" 
near the factory; overseers were appointed to see to the 

* Eden, "The State of the Poor: or an History of the Labouring 
Classes in England, from the Conquest to the Present Period." Vol. I, 
Book II, Ch. I, p. 421. 


works, whose interest it was to work the children to the 
utmost, because their pay was in proportion to the quan- 
tity of work that they could exact. Cruelty was, of course, 
the consequence. ... In many of the manufacturing districts, 
but particularly, I am afraid, in the guilty county to which 
I belong [Lancashire], cruelties the most heart-rending 
were practised upon the unoffending and friendless crea- 
tures who were thus consigned to the charge of master- 
manufacturers; they were harassed to the brink of death 
by excess of labour. . . were flogged, fettered and tortured in 
the most exquisite refinement of cruelty; . . . they were in 
many cases starved to the bone while flogged to their work 
and . . . even in some instances . . . were driven to commit 
suicide. . . . The beautiful and romantic valleys of Derby- 
shire, Nottinghamshire and Lancashire, secluded from the 
public eye, became the dismal solitudes of torture, and of 
many a murder. The profits of manufacturers were enor- 
mous; but this only whetted the appetite that it should 
have satisfied, and therefore the manufacturers had re- 
course to an expedient that seemed to secure to them those 
profits without any possibility of limit; they began the prac- 
tice of what is termed 'night-working,' that is, having tired 
one set of hands, by working them throughout the day, 
they had another set ready to go on working throughout 
the night; the day-set getting into the beds that the night- 
set had just quitted, and in their turn again, the night-set 
getting into the beds that the day-set quitted in the morn- 
ing. It is a common tradition in Lancashire, that the beds 
never get cold."* 

With the development of capitalist production during 
the manufacturing period, the public opinion of Europe 

* John Fielden, "The Curse of the Factory System: or, a short 
account of the origin of factory cruelties, etc." London, 1836, pp. 5, 
6. On the earlier infamies of the factory system, cf. Dr. Aikin (1795), 
I.e., p. 219, and Gisborne: "Enquiry into the Duties of Men," 1795, 
Vol. II. When the steam-engine transplanted the factories from the 
country waterfalls to the middle of towns, the "abstemious" surplus- 
value maker found the child-material ready to his hand, without 


had lost the last remnant of shame and conscience. The 
nations bragged cynically of every infamy that served 
them as a means to capitalistic accumulation. Read, e.g., 
the naive Annals of Commerce of the worthy A. Anderson. 
Here it is trumpeted forth as a triumph of English state- 
craft that at the Peace of Utrecht, England extorted from 
the Spaniards by the Asiento Treaty the privilege of being 
allowed to ply the negro-trade, until then only carried on 
between Africa and the English West Indies, between Af- 
rica and Spanish America as well. England thereby ac- 
quired the right of supplying Spanish America until 1743 
with 4,800 negroes yearly. This threw, at the same time, an 
official cloak over British smuggling. Liverpool v/axed fat 
on the slave-trade. This v/as its method of primitive accu- 
mulation. And, even to the present day, Liverpool "respect- 
ability" is the Pindar of the slave-trade which — compare 
the work of Aikin (1795) already quoted — "has coincided 
with that spirit of bold adventure which has characterised 
the trade of Liverpool and rapidly carried it to its present 
state of prosperity; has occasioned vast employment for 
shipping and sailors, and greatly augmented the demand 
for the manufactures of the country" (p. 339). Liverpool 
employed in the slave-trade, in 1730, 15 ships; in 1751, 53; 
in 1760, 74; in 1770, 96; and in 1792, 132. 
Whilst the cotton industry introduced child-slavery in 

being forced to seek slaves from the workhouses. When Sir. R. Peel 
(father of the "minister of plausibility") brought in his bill for the 
protection of children, in 1815, Francis Horner, lumen of the Bullion 
Committee and intimate friend of Ricardo, said in the House of Com- 
mons: "It is notorious, that with a bankrupt's effects, a gang, if 
he might use the word, of these children had been put up to sale, 
and were advertised publicly as part of the property. A most atro- 
cious instance had been brought before the Court of King's Bench 
two years before, in which a number of these boys, apprenticed by 
a parish in London to one manufacturer, had been transferred to 
another, and had been found by some benevolent persons in a state 
of absolute famine. Another case more horrible had come to his 
knowledge while on a [Parliamentary] Committee . . . that not many 
years ago, an agreement had been made between a London parish 
and a Lancashire manufacturer, by which it was stipulated, that 
with every 20 sound children one idiot should be taken." 


England, it gave in the United States a stimulus to the 
transformation of the earlier, more or less patriarchal sla- 
very, into a system of commercial exploitation. In fact, 
the veiled slavery of the wage-workers in Europe needed, 
for its pedestal, slavery pure and simple in the new world.* 
Tantae molis erat,** to establish the "eternal laws of Na- 
ture" of the capitalist mode of production, to complete the 
process of separation between labourers and conditions of 
labour, to transform, at one pole, the social means of pro- 
duction and subsistence into capital, at the opposite pole, 
the mass of the population into wage-labourers, into "free la- 
bouring poor," that artificial product of modern society.*** 

* In 1790, there were in the English West Indies ten slaves for 
one free man, in the French fourteen for one, in the Dutch twenty- 
three for one. (Henry Brougham: "An Inquiry into the Colonial Pol- 
icy of the European Powers." Edin. 1803, Vol. II., p. 74.) 

** It took so much effort. — Ed. 
*** The phrase, "labouring poor," is found in English legislation 
from the moment when the class of wage-labourers becomes notice- 
able. This term is used in opposition, on the one hand, to the 
"idle poor," beggars, etc., on the other to those labourers, who, 
pigeons not yet plucked, are still possessors of their own means of 
labour. From the Statute Book it passed into Political Economy, and 
was handed down by Culpeper, J. Child, etc., to Adam Smith and 
Eden. After this, one can judge of the good faith of the "execrable 
political cant-monger," Edmund Burke, when he called the expres- 
sion, "labouring poor," — "execrable political cant." This sycophant 
who, in the pay of the English oligarchy, played the romantic lauda- 
tor temporis acti against the French Revolution, just as, in the pay 
of the North American Colonies, at the beginning of the American 
troubles, he had played the Liberal against the English oligarchy, 
was an out and out vulgar bourgeois. "The laws of commerce are 
the laws of Nature, and therefore the laws of God." (E. Burke, 
"Thoughts and Details on Scarcity, Originally Presented to the Rt. 
Hon. W. Pitt in the month of November 1795." London 1800, pp. 31, 
32.) No wonder that, true to the laws of God and of Nature, he 
always sold himself in the best market. A very good portrait of this 
Edmund Burke, during his liberal time, is to be found in the writings 
of the Rev. Mr. Tucker. Tucker was a parson and a Tory, but, for 
the rest, an honourable man and a competent political economist. 
In face of the infamous cowardice of character that reigns to-day, 
and believes most devoutly in "the laws of commerce," it is our 
bounden duty again and again to brand the Burkes, who only dif- 
fer from their successors in one thing — talent. 


If money, according to Augier,* "comes into the world 
with a congenital blood-stain on one cheek," capital comes 
dripping from head to foot, from every pore, with blood 
and dirt.** 

Published according to 
the English text of Cap- 
ital, Vol. I, Moscow 1958 

* Marie Augier: "Du Credit Public." Paris, 1842. 
** "Capital is said by a Quarterly Reviewer to fly turbulence and 
strife, and to be timid, which is very true; but this is very in- 
completely stating the question. Capital eschews no profit, or very 
small profit, just as Nature was formerly said to abhor a vacuum. 
With adequate profit, capital is very bold. A certain 10 per cent, 
will ensure its employment anywhere; 20 per cent, certain will pro- 
duce eagerness; 50 per cent., positive audacity; 100 per cent, will 
make it ready to trample on all human laws; 300 per cent., and 
there is not a crime at which it will scruple, nor a risk it will not 
run, even to the chance of its owner being hanged. If turbulence and 
strife will bring a profit, it will freely encourage both. Smuggling 
and the slave-trade have amply proved all that is here stated." 
(T. J. Dunning, "Trades' Unions and Strikes: their Philosophy and 
Intention." London I860, pp. 35, 36.) 

Karl Marx 


(Excerpt from Chapter XX of Capital, Volume III) 

There is no doubt — and it is precisely this fact which 
has led to wholly erroneous conceptions — that in the 16th 
and 17th centuries the great revolutions, which took place 
in commerce with the geographical discoveries and speeded 
the development of merchant's capital, constitute one of 
the principal elements in furthering the transition from 
feudal to capitalist mode of production. The sudden expan- 
sion of the world-market, the multiplication of circulating 
commodities, the competitive zeal of the European nations 
to possess themselves of the products of Asia and the trea- 
sures of America, and the colonial system — all contributed 
materially toward destroying the feudal fetters on produc- 
tion. However, in its first period — the manufacturing pe- 
riod — the modern mode of production developed only 
where the conditions for it had taken shape within the 
Middle Ages. Compare, for instance, Holland with Portu- 
gal.* And when in the 16th, and partially still in the 17th, 
century the sudden expansion of commerce and emergence 

* How predominant fishery, manufacture and agriculture, aside 
from other circumstances, were as the basis for Holland's develop- 
ment, has already been explained by 18th-century writers, such as 
Massie. In contradistinction to the former view, which underrated 
the volume and importance of commerce in Asia, in Antiquity, and 
in the Middle Ages, it has now come to be the custom to extremely 
overrate it. The best antidote against this conception^ to study the 
imports and exports of England in the early 18th century and to 
compare them with modern imports and exports. And yet they were 
incomparably greater than those of any former trading nation. (See 
Anderson, History of Commerce.) 


of a new world-market overwhelmingly contributed to the 
fail of the old mode of production and the rise of capitalist 
production, this was accomplished conversely on the basis 
of the already existing capitalist mode of production. The 
world-market itself forms the basis for this mode of pro- 
duction. On the other hand, the immanent necessity of this 
mode of production to produce on an ever-enlarged scale 
tends to extend the world-market continually, so that it 
is not commerce in this case which revolutionizes indus- 
try, but industry which constantly revolutionizes com- 
merce. Commercial supremacy itself is now linked with the 
prevalence to a greater or lesser degree of conditions for 
a large industry. Compare, for instance, England and Hol- 
land. The history of the decline of Holland as the ruling 
trading nation is the history of the subordination of mer- 
chant's capital to industrial capital. The obstacles presented 
by the internal solidity and organization of pre-capitalistic, 
national modes of production to the corrosive influence of 
commerce are strikingly illustrated in the intercourse of 
the English with India and China. The broad basis of the 
mode of production here is formed by the unity of small- 
scale agriculture and home industry, to which in India we 
should add the form of village communities built upon the 
common ownership of land, which, incidentally, was the 
original form in China as well. In India the English lost no 
time in exercising their direct political and economic pow- 
er, as rulers and landlords, to disrupt these small eco- 
nomic communities.* English commerce exerted a revolu- 
tionary influence on these communities and tore them 
apart only insofar as the low prices of its goods served to 
destroy the spinning and weaving industries, which were 

*If any nation's history, then the history of the English in India 
is a string of futile and really absurd (in practice infamous) eco- 
nomic experiments. In Bengal they created a caricature of large-scale 
English landed estates; in south-eastern India a caricature of small 
parcelled property; in the north-west they did all they could to trans- 
form the Indian economic community with common ownership of 
the soil into a caricature of itself. 


i an ancient integrating element of this unity of industrial 
and agricultural production. And even so this work of dis- 
solution proceeds very gradually. And still more slowly in 
China, where it is not reinforced by direct political power. 
The substantial economy and saving in time afforded by 
i the association of agriculture with manufacture put up a 
; stubborn resistance to the products of the big industries, 
whose prices include the faux frais of the circulation proc- 
ess which prevades them. Unlike the English, Russian 
commerce, on the other hand, leaves the economic ground- 
work of Asiatic production untouched.* 

Published according to 
the English text of Cap- 
ital, Vol. Ill, Moscow 1959 

Translated from the German 

* Since Russia has been making frantic exertions to develop 
its own capitalist production, which is exclusively dependent upon 
its domestic and the neighbouring Asiatic market, this is also begin- 
ning to change. — F. E. 

20 — 12 

Frederick Ensels 




//. The Stock Exchange 


7. Then colonization. Today this is purely a subsidiary 
of the stock exchange, in v/hose interests the European 
powers divided Africa a few years ago, and the French con- 
quered Tunis and Tonkin. Africa leased directly to com- 
panies (Niger, South Africa, German South-West and 
German East Africa), and Mashonaland and Natal seized 
by Rhodes for the stock exchange. 

Published according to the English Translated from the German 

text of Capital, 

Vol. Ill, Moscow 1959 



London, June 2, 1853 

. . . Bernier rightly considered the basis of all phenome- 
na in the East — he refers to Turkey, Persia, Hindustan — to 
be the absence of private property in land. This is the real 
key, even to the Oriental heaven. . . . 


Manchester, June 6, 1853 

. . . The absence of property in land is indeed the key to 
the whole of the East. Herein lies its political and religious 
. history. But how does it come about that the Orientals did 
| not arrive at landed property, even in its feudal form? I 
j think it is mainly due to the climate, taken in connection 
with the nature of the soil, especially with the great 
stretches of desert which extend from the Sahara straight 
across Arabia, Persia, India and Tartary up to the highest 
Asiatic plateau. Artificial irrigation is here the first condi- 
tion of agriculture and this is a matter either for the com- 
munes, the provinces or the central government. An Orien- 
tal government never had more than three departments: 
finance (plunder at home), war (plunder at home and 
abroad), and public works (provision for reproduction). 
The British Government in India has administered Nos. 
1 and 2 in a rather narrow-minded spirit and dropped 
No. 3 entirely, so that Indian agriculture is being ruined. 
Free competition discredits itself there completely. This 
artificial fertilization of the land, which immediately ceased 
when the irrigation system fell into decay, explains the 
otherwise curious fact that whole stretches which were 
once brilliantly cultivated are now waste and bare (Pal- 
myra, Petra, the ruins in the Yemen, districts in Egypt, 
Persia and Hindustan); it explains the fact that one single 
devastating war could depopulate a country for centuries 
and strip it of its whole civilization. . . . 


London, June 14, 1853 

. . . Your article on Switzerland was of course a direct 
smack at the leading articles in the Tribune (against cen- 
tralization, etc.), and its Carey. I have continued this hidden 
warfare in a first article on India, 89 in which the destruc- 
tion of the native industry by England is described as rev- 
olutionary. This will be very shocking to them. As for the 
rest, the v/hole rule of Britain in India was swinish, and 
is to this day. 
2f The statiojiajy_ch^mcter of this part of Asia — despite all 
the aimless movements on the political surface — is fully 
explained by two circumstances which supplement each 
r-.other: 1) the public works were the business of the central 
V government; 2) besides this the whole empire, not count- 
ing the few larger towns, was divided into villages, each 
of which possessed a completely separate organization and 
formed a little world in itself. In a Parliamentary report 
these villages are described as follows: 

"A village, geographically considered, is a tract of coun- 
try comprising some 100 or 1,000 acres of arable and waste 
lands; politically viewed, it resembles a corporation or 
township. Every village is, and appears always to have 
been, in fact, a separate community, or republic. Officials: 
1) the Potail, Goud, Mundil, etc., as he is termed in differ- 
ent languages, is the head inhabitant, who has generally 
the superintendence of the affairs of the village, settles the 
disputes of the inhabitants, attends to the police, and per- 


forms the duty of collecting the revenue within the vil- 
lage 2) the Curnum, Shanboag, or Putwaree, is the reg- 
ister. 3) The Taliary, or Sthulwar and 4) the Totie, are 
severally the watchmen of the village and of the crops. 
5) The Neerguntee distributes the water of the streams or 
reservoirs in just proportion to the several fields. 6) The 
Joshee, or astrologer, announces the seed-times and har- 
vests, and the lucky or unlucky days or hours for all the 
operations of farming. 7) The smith and 8) the carpenter 
frame the rude instruments of husbandry, and the ruder 
dwelling of the farmer. 9) The potter fabricates the only 
utensils of the village. 10) The washerman keeps clean the 

few garments 11) The barber and 12) the silversmith, 

who often at the same time is also poet and schoolmaster 
of the village — all in one person. Then comes the Brahmin 
for worship. Under this simple form of municipal govern- 
ment, the inhabitants of the country have lived from time 
immemorial. The boundaries of the villages have been but 
seldom altered; and although the villages themselves 
have been sometimes injured, and even desolated, by 
war, famine and disease, the same name, the same lim- 
its, the same interests, and even the same families have 
continued for ages. The inhabitants give themselves no 
trouble about the breaking up and division of kingdoms; 
while the village remains entire, they care not to what 
power it is transferred, or to what sovereign it devolves; 
its internal economy remains unchanged." 
£The Potail is usually hereditary. In some of these com- 
munities the lands of the village are cultivated in com- 
mon, in most cases each occupant tills his own field. Within 
them there is slavery and the caste system.) The waste 
lands are for common pasture. Domestic weaving and 
spinning is done by wives and daughters. These idyllic re- 
publics, which only jealously guard the boundaries of their 
village against the neighbouring village, still exist in a 
fairly perfect form in the North-V/estern parts of India, 
which were recent English accessions. I do not think any- 


one could imagine a more solid foundation for stagnant 
Asiatic despotism. And however much the English may 
have hibernicized the country, the breaking up of those 
stereotyped primitive forms was the sine qua non for Eu- 
ropeanization. Alone the tax-gatherer was not the man to 
achieve this. The destruction of their archaic industry was 
necessary to deprive the villages of their self-supporting 

In Bali, an island off the east coast of Java, this Hindu 
organization, together with Hindu religion, is still intact — 
its traces, moreover, like those of Hindu influence, are to be 
found throughout Java. As to the question of property, 
this is a very controversial one among the English writers 
on India. In the broken hill-country south of Krishna, prop- 
erty in land does seem to have existed. In Java on the 
other hand Sir Stamford Raffles, former English Governor 
of Java, observes in his History of Java that "the sover- 
eign was absolute landlord" of the whole surface of the 
land "where rent to any considerable amount was attain- 
able." In any case it seems to have been the Mohammed- 
ans who first established the principle of "no property in 
land" throughout the whole of Asia. 

About the villages mentioned above I must also note 
that they already figure in Manu* and that the basis of 
the whole organization is, according to him: ten villages 
under a superior collector, then a hundred and then a 
thousand. . . . 

* Ancient Hindu law. — Ed, 


Manchester, May 23, 1856 

Dear Marx, 

During our tour in Ireland we came from Dublin to 
Galway on the west coast, then twenty miles north inland, 
then to Limerick, down the Shannon to Tarbert, Tralee, 
Killarney and back to Dublin — a total of about 450 to 500 
English miles inside the country itself, so that we have 
seen about two-thirds of the whole of it. With the excep- 
tion of Dublin, which bears the same relation to London 
as Diisseldorf does to Berlin and has quite the character 
of a small one-time capital, all English-built, too, the look 
of the entire country, and especially of the towns, is as if 
one were in France or Northern Italy. Gendarmes, priests, 
lawyers, bureaucrats, country squires in pleasing profu- 
sion and a total absence of any industry at all, so that it 
would be difficult to understand what all these parasitic 
growths live on if the distress of the peasants did not supply 
the other half of the picture. "Strong measures" are visible 
in every corner of the country, the government meddles 
v/ith everything, of so-called self-government there is not 
a trace. Ireland may be regarded as the first English col- 
ony and as one which because of its proximity is still gov- 
erned exactly in the old way, and one can already notice 
here that the so-called liberty of English citizens is based 
on the oppression of the colonies. I have never seen so 
many gendarmes in any country, and the sodden look of the 
bibulous Prussian gendarme is developed to its highest 
perfection here among the constabulary, who are armed 
with carbines, bayonets and handcuffs. 


Characteristic of this country are its ruins, the oldest dat- 
ing from the fifth and sixth centuries, the latest from the 
nineteenth — v/ith every intervening period. The most an- 
cient are all churches: after 1100, churches and castles: 
after 1800, houses of peasants. The whole of the west, es- 
pecially in the neighbourhood of Galway, is covered with 
ruined peasant houses, most of which have only been de- 
serted since 1846. I never thought that famine could have 
such tangible reality. Whole villages are devastated, and 
there among them lie the splendid parks of the lesser land- 
lords, who are almost the only people still living there, 
mostly lawyers. 

Famine, emigration and clearances 90 together have ac- 
complished this. There are not even cattle to be seen in 
the fields. The land is an utter desert which nobody wants. 
In County Clare, south of Galway, it is somewhat better. 
Here there are at least cattle, and the hills towards Lime- 
rick are excellently cultivated, mostly by Scottish farmers, 
the ruins have been cleared away and the country has a 
bourgeois appearance. In the South- West there are a lot of 
mountains and bogs but there is also wonderfully luxuriant 
forest land; beyond that again fine pastures, especially in 
Tipperary, and towards Dublin there is land which, one 
can see, is gradually coming into the hands of big farmers. 

The country was completely ruined by the English wars 
of conquest from 1 100 to 1850 (for in reality both the wars 
and the state of siege lasted as long as that). It has been 
established as a fact that most of the ruins were produced 
by destruction during the wars. The people itself has got its 
peculiar character from this, and for all their national Irish 
fanaticism the fellows feel that they are no longer at home 
in their own country. Ireland for the Saxon! That is now 
being realized. The Irishman knows that he cannot com- 
pete with the Englishman, who comes equipped with means 
superior in every respect; emigration will go on until the 
predominantly, indeed almost exclusively, Celtic character 
of the population is gone to the dogs. How often have the 

• SIS 

Irish started out to achieve something, and every time 
they have been crushed, politically and industrially. By 
consistent oppression they have been artificially converted 
into an utterly impoverished nation and now, as everyone 
knows, fulfil the function of supplying England, America, 
Australia, etc., with prostitutes, casual labourers, pimps, 
pickpockets, swindlers, beggars and other rabble. Impov- 
erishment characterizes the aristocracy too. The landown- 
ers, who everywhere else have become bourgeoisified, are 
here reduced to complete poverty. Their country-seats are 
surrounded by enormous, amazingly beautiful parks, but 
all around is waste land, and where the money is to come 
from it is impossible to see. These fellows are droll enough 
to make your sides burst with laughing. Of mixed 
blood, mostly tall, strong, handsome chaps, they all wear 
enormous moustaches under colossal Roman noses, give 
themselves the false military airs of retired colonels, trav- 
el around the country after all sorts of pleasures, and if 
one makes an inquiry, they haven't a penny, are laden with 
debts, and live in dread of the Encumbered Estates Court. 
Concerning the ways and means by which England rules 
this country — repression and corruption — long before Bo- 
naparte attempted this, I shall write shortly if you won't 
come over soon. How about it? 


F. E. 



January 14, 1858 

. . . Your article is splendid in style and manner and rem- 
iniscent of the best days of the Neue Rheinische Zeitung. 
As for Windham, he may be very bad general, but this 
time the chap had the misfortune — which was his luck at 
Redan — of leading recruits into battle. I am generally of 
the opinion that this second army dedicated by the English 
to the Indians — and not a single man of it will return — 
can in no way match the first, which appears to have been 
wiped out almost entirely, in bravery, self-reliance and 
steadiness. As for the effect of the climate on the troops, 
I have shown by means of accurate calculations in various 
articles — so long as I ran the military department provi- 
sionally — that the death rate was disproportionately great- 
ier than the official English reports intimated. With the 
Idrain of men and bullion which it must cost the English, 
pidia is now our best ally. . . . 


London, (October 8,) 1858 

. . . We cannot deny that bourgeois society has experi- 
enced its sixteenth century a second time — a sixteenth cen- 
tury which will, I hope, sound the death-knell of bourgeois 
i society just as the first one thrust it into existence. The 

i specific task of bourgeois society is the establishment of 
a world market, at least in outline, and of production based 
upon this world market. As the world is round, this seems 
to have been completed by the colonization of California 
and Australia and the opening up of China and Japan. The 
difficult question for us is this: on the Continent the revo- 
lution is imminent and will immediately assume a socialist 
character. Is it not bound to # be crushed in this little cor- 
ner, considering that in a far greater territory the move- 
ment of bourgeois society is still in the ascendant? 

As to what specially concerns China, I have assured 
'"myself by an exact analysis of the movement of trade since 
j 1836, first, that the increase of English and American ex- 
ports (1844-46) proved in 1847 to be a pure fraud and that 
* also in the following ten years the average remained 
i nearly stationary, while the imports into England and Amer- 
' ica from China grew enormously; second, that the opening 
up of the five ports and the seizure of Hong-Kong only 
resulted in the trade passing from Canton to Shanghai. The 
,-, other "emporiums" do not count. The chief reason for the 
Ifailure of this market appears to be the opium trade, to 
j (which in fact any increase in the export trade to China is 


'continually confined; but added to this is the internal eco- 
nomic organization of the country, its minute agriculture, 

jetc, which it will take an enormous time to break down. 
England's present treaty with China, which in my opinion 
was worked out by Palmerston in conjunction with the 
Petersburg Cabinet and given to Lord Elgin on his jour- 

i ney, is a mockery from beginning to end. . . . 


November 20, 1865 

. . .The Jamaica affair 91 is typical of the meanness of "true 
Englishmen." Those chaps have no business rebuking the 
Russians. But, says the brave Times, these damned rogues 
enjoyed "all the liberties of an Anglo-Saxon Constitution." 
That is, they enjoyed the liberty, among other things, to 
be taxed to their ears so as to provide the planters with 
the means to import coolies and thus to reduce their own 
labour market to a minimum. And it is these squeamish 
English dogs who shouted about the "beast Butler" for 
having hanged one man and not permitting the yellow, 
diamond-hung planter wenches to spit in the faces of the 
Federal soldiers! 92 For a fuller exposure of English hypoc- 
risy after the American war we only lacked the Irish affair 
and the Jamaica butcheries. . . . 


December 1, 1865 

. . . Each successive mail brings ever more startling news 
of the Jamaica infamies. The letters of English officers 
about their heroic exploits against unarmed Niggers are 
priceless. The spirit of the British army has at last emerged 
unblushingly. "The soldiers enjoy it." Even the Manchester 
Guardian has been compelled this time to come out against 
the officials in Jamaica. . . . 

21 — 12 


November 2, 1867 

. . . The proceedings against the Fenians in Manchester 
were every inch what could be expected. You will have 
seen what a row "our people" kicked up in the Reform 
League. I have sought in every way to provoke this mani- 
festation of the English workers in support of Fenian- 
ism. . . . 

Previously I thought Ireland's separation from Britain 
impossible. Now I think it inevitable, although after sepa- 
ration may come federation. How the English carry on is 
evidenced by the agricultural statistics for the current year, 
which appeared a few days ago. Furthermore, the form of 
these evictions. The Irish viceroy, Lord Abicorn (that 
seems to be his name) "cleared" his estate in the last few 
weeks by forcibly evicting thousands of people. Among 
them were prosperous tenants, whose improvements and 
investments were thus confiscated! In no other European 
country did foreign rule adopt this form of direct expro- 
priation of the stock population. The Russians confiscate 
solely on political grounds; the Prussians in Western 
Prussia buy up. . . . 


London, November 30, 1867 

. . . What the English do not yet know is that since 1846 
the economic content and therefore also the political aim 
of English domination in Ireland have entered into an en- 
tirely new phase, and that, precisely because of this, Fe- 
nianism is characterized by a socialistic tendency (in a 
negative sense, directed against the appropriation of the 
soil) and by being a lower orders movement. What can be 
more ridiculous than to confuse the barbarities of Eliza- 
beth or Cromwell, who wanted to supplant the Irish by 
English colonists (in the Roman sense), with the present 
system, which wants to supplant them by sheep, pigs and 
oxen! The system of 1801-46, with its rackrents and middle- 
men, collapsed in 1846. (During that period evictions were 
exceptional, occurring mainly in Leinster where the land 
is especially good for cattle raising.) The repeal of the 
Corn Laws, partly the result of or at any rate hastened by 
the Irish famine, deprived Ireland of its monopoly of Eng- 
land's corn supply in normal times. Wool and meat became 
the slogan, hence conversion of tillage into pasture. Hence 
from then onwards systematic consolidation of farms. The 
Encumbered Estates Act, which turned a mass of previous- 
ly enriched middlemen into landlords, hastened the proc- 
ess. Clearing of the Estate of Ireland! is now the one pur- 
pose of English rule in Ireland. The stupid English Govern- 
ment in London knows nothing of course itself of this im- 
mense change since 1846. But the Irish know it. From 
Meagher's Proclamation (1848) down to the election 

21* 323 

manifesto of Hennessy (Tory and Urquhartite) (1866), the 
Irish have expressed their consciousness of it in the clear- 
est and most forcible manner. 

The question now is, what shall we advise the English 
workers? In my opinion they must make the repeal of the 
Union (in short, the affair of 1783, only democratized and 
adapted to the conditions of the time) an article of their 
pronunziamento. This is the only legal and therefore only 
possible form of Irish emancipation which can be admitted 
in the programme of an English party. Experience must 
show later whether a mere personal union can continue to 
subsist between the two countries. I half think it can if it 
takes place in time. 

What the Irish need is: 

1) Self-government and independence from England. 

2) An agrarian revolution. With the best intentions in 
the world the English cannot accomplish this for them, 
but they can give them the legal means of accomplishing 
it for themselves. 

3) Protective tariffs against England. Between 1783 and 
1801 every branch of Irish industry flourished. The Union, 
which overthrew the protective tariffs established by the 
Irish Parliament, destroyed all industrial life in Ireland. 
The bit of linen industry is no compensation whatever. The 
Union of 1801 had just the same effect on Irish industry 
as the measures for the suppression of the Irish woollen 
industry, etc., taken by the English Parliament under Anne, 
George II, and others. Once the Irish are independent, 
necessity will turn them into protectionists, as it did Can- 
ada, Australia, etc. Before I present my views in the Cen- 
tral Council 93 (next Tuesday, this time fortunately without 
reporters), I would like you to give me your opinion in a 
few lines. . . . 


London, April 6, 1868 

. . . The Irish question predominates here just now. It has 
been exploited by Gladstone and company, of course, only 
in order to get into office again, and, above all, to have an 
electoral cry at the next elections, which will be based on 
household suffrage. For the moment this turn of affairs is 
bad for the workers' party; the intriguers among the work- 
ers, such as Odger and Potter, who want to get into the 
next Parliament, have now a new excuse for attaching 
themselves to the bourgeois Liberals. 

However, this is only a penalty which England — and 
consequently also the English working class— is paying for 
the great crime it has been committing for many centuries 
against Ireland. And in the long run it will benefit the 
English working class itself. You see, the English Estab- 
lished Church in Ireland 9 * 1 — or what they call here the Irish 
Church — is the religious bulwark of English landlordism 
in Ireland, and at the same time the outpost of the Estab- 
lished Church in England itself. (I am speaking here of the 
Established Church as a landowner.) The overthrow of the 
Established Church in Ireland will mean its downfall in 
England and the two will be followed by the doom of land- 
lordism — first in Ireland and then in England. I have, how- 
ever, been convinced from the first that the social revo- 
lution must begin seriously from the bottom, that is, from 

* In the German a play on words: von Grund aus — from the 

bottom; Grund-und Bodeneigentum — landownership. Grund means 
both bottom and land. — Ed. 


Apart from that, the whole thing will have the very 
useful result that, once the Irish Church is dead, the Prot- 
estant Irish tenants in the province of Ulster will make 
common cause with the Catholic tenants in the three other 
provinces of Ireland, whereas up to the present landlordism 
has been able to exploit this religious antagonism. . . . 


[London,] November 29, 1869 

. . . Nevertheless, both my utterance on this Irish am- 
nesty question and my further proposal to the General 
Council to discuss the attitude of the English working 
class to Ireland and to pass resolutions on it have of course 
other objects besides that of speaking out loudly and 
decidedly for the oppressed Irish against their oppressors. 

I have become more and more convinced — and the 
only question is to drive this conviction home to the 
English working class — that it can never do anything de- 
cisive here in England until it separates its policy with 
regard to Ireland most definitely from the policy of the 
ruling classes, until it not only makes common cause 
with the Irish but actually takes the initiative in dissolving 
the Union established in 1801 and replacing it by a free 
federal relationship. And this must be done, not as a mat- 
ter of sympathy with Ireland but as a demand made in the 
interests of the English proletariat. If not, the English 
people will remain tied to the leading-strings of the rul- 
ing classes, because it will have to join with them in a 
common front against Ireland. Every one of its movements 
in England itself is crippled by the strife with the Irish, 
who form a very important section of the working class 
in England. The prime condition of emancipation here — 
the overthrow of the English landed oligarchy — remains 
impossible because its position here cannot be stormed 
so long as it maintains its strongly entrenched outposts 


in Ireland. But there, once affairs are in the hands of the 
Irish people itself, once it is made its own legislator and 
ruler, once it becomes autonomous, the abolition of the 
landed aristocracy (to a large extent the same persons as 
the English landlords) will be infinitely easier than here, 
because in Ireland it is not merely a simple economic 
question but at the same time a national question, since 
the landlords there are not, like those in England, the 
traditional dignitaries and representatives of the nation, 
but its mortally hated oppressors. And not only does Eng- 
land's internal social development remain crippled by her 
present relations with Ireland; her foreign policy, and 
particularly her policy with regard to Russia and the 
United States of America, suffers the same fate. 

But since the English working class undoubtedly throws 
the decisive weight into the scale of social emancipation 
generally, the lever has to be applied here. As a matter of 
fact, the English republic under Cromwell met shipwreck 
in — Ireland. 95 Non bis in idem!* But the Irish have played a 
capital joke on the English government by electing the 
"convict felon" O'Donovan Rossa to Parliament. The gov- 
ernment papers are already threatening a renewed sus- 
pension of the Habeas Corpus Act, a renewed system of 
terror. In fact, England never has and never can — so long 
as the present relations last— rule Ireland otherwise than 
by the most abominable reign of terror and the most rep- 
rehensible corruption. . . . 

* Not twice the same thing! — Ed. 


[London,] December 10, 1869 

. . . The way I shall put forward the matter next Tues- 
day is this: that quite apart from all phrases about "inter- 
national" and "humane" justice for Ireland — which are 
taken for granted in the International Council — it is in the 
direct and absolute interest of the English working class 
to get rid of their present connection with Ireland. And 
this is my fullest conviction, and for reasons which in part 
I can not tell the English workers themselves. For a long 
time I believed that it would be possible to overthrow the 
Irish regime by English working-class ascendancy. I al- 
ways expressed this point of view in the New York Trib- 
une. Deeper study has now convinced me of the opposite. 
The English working class will never accomplish anything 
until it has got rid of Ireland. The lever must be applied 
in Ireland. That is why the Irish question is so important 
for the social movement in general. 

I have read a lot of Davies in extracts. The book itself* 
I had only glanced through superficially in the Museum. 
So you would do me a great favour if you would copy out 
for me the passages relating to common property. You 
must get "Curran's Speeches" edited by Davies (London: 
James Duffy, 22, Paternoster Row). I meant to give it to 
you when you were in London. It is now circulating 
among the English members of the Central Council and 

* Sir John Davies, Historical Tracts. — Ed. 


God knows when I shall see it again. For the period 1779- 
1 800 (Union) it is of decisive importance, not only because 
of Curran's speeches (especially those held in courts; I con- 
sider Curran the only great lawyer (people's advocate) of 
the eighteenth century and the noblest personality, while 
Grattan was a parliamentary rogue), but because you will 
find quoted there all the sources for the United Irishmen. 9 ® 
This period is of the highest interest, scientifically and 
dramatically. Firstly, the deeds of the English in 1588-89 
repeated (and perhaps even intensified) in 1788-89. Sec- 
ondly, a class movement can easily be traced in the Irish 
movement itself. Thirdly, the infamous policy of Pitt. 
Fourthly, and that will be very irksome to the English 
gentlemen, the proof that Ireland came to grief because, 
in fact, from a revolutionary standpoint, the Irish were too 
far advanced for the English King and Church mob, while 
on the other hand the English reaction in England had its 
roots (as in Cromwell's time) in the subjugation of Ire- 
land. This period must be described in at least one chapter. 
Put John Bull in the pillory! . . . 


January 19, 1870 

... I have finally discovered a copy of Prendergast in 
a local library and hope that I shall be able to obtain it. 
To my good or bad fortune, the old Irish laws are also to 
appear soon, and I shall thus have to wade through those 
as well. The more I study the subject the clearer it is to 
me that Ireland has been stunted in its development by 
the English invasion and thrown centuries back. And this 
as of the 12th century; furthermore, it should be borne in 
mind, of course, that three centuries of Danish invasion 
and plunder had by then substantially drained the country. 
But these latter had ceased over a hundred years before 
the English invasion. . . . 


London, April 9, 1870 

. . . Among the material sent you will also find some of 
the resolutions of the General Council of November 30 on 
the Irish amnesty, resolutions that you know about and 
that were written by me; likewise an Irish pamphlet on 
the treatment of the Fenian convicts. 

I had intended to introduce additional resolutions on the 
necessary transformation of the present Union (i.e., en- 
slavement of Ireland) into a free and equal federation with 
Great Britain. For the time being, further progress in this 
matter, as far as public resolutions go, has been suspended 
because of my enforced absence from the General Coun- 
cil. No other member of it has sufficient knowledge of 
Irish affairs and adequate prestige with its English mem- 
bers to be able to replace me here. 

Meanwhile time has not been spent idly and I ask you 
to pay particular attention to the following: 

After occupying myself with the Irish question for many 
years I have come to the conclusion that the decisive blow 
against the English ruling classes (and it will be decisive 
for the workers' movement all over the world) cannot be 
delivered in England but only in Ireland. 

On January 1, 1870, the General Council issued a con- 
fidential circular drawn up by me in French (for the reac- 
tion upon England only the French, not the German, 
papers are important) on the relation of the Irish national 
struggle to the emancipation of the working class, and 


therefore on the attitude which the International Associa- 
tion should take in regard to the Irish question. 

I shall give you here only quite briefly the decisive 

Ireland is the bulwark of the English landed aristocracy. 
The exploitation of that country is not only one of the 
main sources of this aristocracy's material welfare; it is 
its greatest moral strength. It, in fact, represents the 
domination of England over Ireland. Ireland is therefore 
the great means by which the English aristocracy main- 
tains its domination in England itself. 

If, on the other hand, the English army and police were 
to withdraw from Ireland tomorrow, you would at once 
have an agrarian revolution there. But the overthrow of 
the English aristocracy in Ireland involves as a necessary 
consequence its overthrow in England. And this would ful- 
fil the preliminary condition for the proletarian revolution 
in England. The destruction of the English landed aristo- 
cracy in Ireland is an infinitely easier operation than in 
England itself, because in Ireland the land question has 
hitherto been the exclusive form of the social question, 
because it is a question of existence, of life and death, for 
the immense majority of the Irish people, and because it is 
at the same time inseparable from the national question. 
This quite apart from the Irish being more passionate and 
revolutionary in character than the English. 

As for the English bourgeoisie, it has in the first place 
a common interest with the English aristocracy in turning 
Ireland into mere pasture land which provides the English 
market with meat and wool at the cheapest possible prices. 
It is equally interested in reducing, by eviction and for- 
cible emigration, the Irish population to such a small num- 
ber that English capital (capital invested in land leased 
for farming) can function there with "security." It has the 
same interest in clearing the estate of Ireland as it had 
in the clearing of the agricultural districts of England and 
Scotland. The £6.000-10,000 absentee-landlord and other 


Irish revenues which at present flow annually to London 
have also to be taken into account. 

But the English bourgeoisie has, besides, much more im- 
portant interests in Ireland's present-day economy. 

Owing to the constantly increasing concentration of 
tenant farming, Ireland steadily supplies its own surplus 
to the English labour market, and thus forces down wages 
and lowers the moral and material condition of the Eng- 
lish working class. 

And most important of all! Every industrial and com- 
mercial centre in England now possesses a working class 
divided into two hostile camps, English proletarians and 
Irish proletarians. The ordinary English worker hates the 
Irish worker as a competitor who lowers his standard of 
life. In relation to the Irish worker he feels himself a mem- 
ber of the ruling nation and so turns himself into a tool 
of the aristocrats and capitalists of his country against 
Ireland, thus strengthening their domination over himself. 
He cherishes religious, social, and national prejudices 
against the Irish worker. His attitude towards him is much 
the same as that of the "poor whites" to the "niggers" in 
the former slave states of the U.S.A. The Irishman pays 
him back with interest in his own money. He sees in the 
English worker at once the accomplice and the stupid tool 
of the English rule in Ireland. 

This antagonism is artificially kept alive and intensified 
by the press, the pulpit, the comic papers, in short, by all 
the means at the disposal of the ruling classes. This an- 
tagonism is the secret of the impotence of the English 
working class, despite its organization. It is the secret by 
which the capitalist class maintains its power. And that 
class is fully aware of it. 

But the evil does not stop here. It continues across the 
ocean. The antagonism between English and Irish is the 
hidden basis of the conflict between the United States and 
England. It makes any honest and serious co-operation be- 
tween the working classes of the two countries impos- 


sible. It enables the governments of both countries, when- 
ever they think fit, to break the edge off the social conflict 
by their mutual bullying, and, in case of need, by war 
with one another. 

England, being the metropolis of capital, the power 
which has hitherto ruled the world market, is for the pres- 
ent the most important country for the workers' revolu- 
tion, and moreover the only country in which the material 
conditions for this revolution have developed up to a cer- 
tain degree of maturity. Therefore to hasten the social 
revolution in England is the most important object of the 
International Workingmen!s Association. The sole means 
of hastening it is to make Ireland independent. 

Hence it is the task of the International everywhere to 
put the conflict between England and Ireland in the fore- 
ground, and everywhere to side openly with Ireland. And 
it is the special task of the Central Council in London to 
awaken a consciousness in the English workers that for 
them the national emancipation of Ireland is no question 
of abstract justice or humanitarian sentiment but the first 
condition of their own social emancipation. 

These roughly are the main points of the circular letter, 
which thereby at the same time gave the raisons d'etre 
of the resolutions of the Central Council on the Irish am- 
nesty. Shortly afterwards I sent a strong anonymous ar- 
ticle on the treatment of the Fenians by the English, etc., 
against Gladstone, etc., to the Internationale (organ of 
our Belgian Central Committee in Brussels). In this ar- 
ticle I at the same time made the charge against the 
French Republicans (the Marseillaise had printed some 
nonsense on Ireland written here by the wretched Talan- 
dier) that in their national egoism they were saving all 
their wrath for the Empire. 

That worked. My daughter Jenny wrote a series of 
articles to the Marseillaise, signing them J. Williams 
(she had called herself Jenny Williams in her private 
letter to the editorial board) and published, among 


other things, O'Donovan Rossa's letter. Hence immense 

After many years of cynical refusal Gladstone was 
thus finally compelled to agree to a parliamentary enquiry 
into the treatment of the Fenian prisoners. Jenny is now 
the regular correspondent on Irish affairs for the Marseil- 
laise. (This is naturally to be a secret between us.) The 
British Government and press are fiercely annoyed by the 
fact that the Irish question has thus now come to the fore- 
front in France and that these rogues are now being 
watched and exposed via Paris on the whole Continent. 

We hit another bird with the same stone, having forced 
the Irish leaders, journalists, etc., in Dublin to get into 
contact with us, which the General Council so far had 
been unable to achieve! 

You have now a great field in America for working 
along the same lines. Coalition of the German workers 
with the Irish workers (and of course also with the Eng- 
lish and American workers who will agree to join) is the 
greatest job you could start on nowadays. This must be 
done in the name of the International. The social signifi- 
cance of the Irish question must be made clear. . . . 


London, February 19, 1881 

... In India serious complications, if not a general out- 
break, is in store for the British government. What the 
English take from them annually in the form of rent, 
dividends for railv/ays useless to the Hindus; pensions for 
military and civil servicemen, for Afghanistan and other 
wars, etc., etc. — what they take from them without any 
equivalent and quite apart from what they appropriate to 
themselves annually within India, — speaking only of the 
value of the commodities the Indians have gratuitously 
and annually to send over to England— it amounts to more 
than the total sum of income of the 60 millions of agricul- 
tural and industrial labourers of India! This is a bleeding 
process with a vengeance! The famine years are pressing 
each other and in dimensions till now not yet suspected 
in Europe! There is an actual conspiracy going on wherein 
Hindus and Mussulmans co-operate; the British govern- 
ment is aware that something is ''brewing," but this shal- 
low people (I mean the governmental men), stultified by 
their own parliamentary ways of talking and thinking, do 
not even desire to see clear, to realize the whole extent of 
the imminent danger! To delude others and by deluding 
them to delude yourself — this is: parliamentary wisdom in 
a nutshell! Tant mieux!*. . . 

* So much the better. — Ed. 


London, August 9, 1882 

... 4. It seems to me that in the Egyptian affair you 
are making too much of the so-called National Party. We 
know little about Arabi, but I am prepared to wager ten 
to one that he is an ordinary pasha who does not want 
to concede tax collecting to the financiers, because in the 
old Oriental fashion he prefers to put the taxes into his 
own pocket. It is again the eternal story of peasant coun- 
tries. From Ireland to Russia, and from Asia Minor to 
Egypt — in a peasant country the peasant exists solely to 
be exploited. It has been so since the Assyrian and Persian 
state. The satrap, alias pasha, is the chief Oriental form 
of exploiter, just as the merchant and jurist represent the 
modern Western form. Repudiation of the khedive's debts 
is, of course, good, but the question is: what then? We 
West-Europeans should not be so easily led astray as the 
Egyptian fellahs or all the Romanic people. Strange. All 
the Romanic revolutionaries complain that all the rev- 
olutions they have made were always for the benefit of 
other people. This is easily explained: it is because they 
were always taken in by the word "revolution." And yet, 
no sooner a mutiny breaks out somewhere than the entire 
Romanic revolutionary world is in raptures over it un- 
critically. I think that we can well be on the side of the 
oppressed fellahs without sharing the illusions they nur- 
ture at the time (a peasant people just has to be hood- 
winked for centuries before it becomes aware of it from 


experience), and to be against the English brutalities while 
by no means siding with their military adversaries of the 
moment. In all questions of international politics the senti- 
mental party newspapers of the French and Italians are 
to be used with utmost mistrust, and we Germans are 
dutybound to preserve our theoretical superiority through 
criticism in this sphere as well. . . . 




London, September 12, 1882 

. . . You ask me what the English workers think about 
colonial policy. Well, exactly the same as they thmk about 
politics in general: the same as the bourgeois think. There 
is no workers' party here, you see, there are only Conserv- 
atives and Liberal-Radicals, and the workers gaily share 
the feast of England's monopoly of the world market and 
the colonies. In my opinion the colonies proper, i.e., the 
countries occupied by a European population — Canada, 
the Cape, Australia — will all become independent; on the 
other hand, the countries inhabited by a native population, 
which are simply subjugated — India, Algeria, the Dutch, 
Portuguese and Spanish possessions — must be taken over 
for the time being by the proletariat and led as rapidly as 
possible towards independence. How this process will 
develop is difficult to say. India will perhaps, indeed very 
probably, make a revolution, and as a proletariat in proc- 
ess of self-emancipation cannot conduct any colonial wars, 
it would have to be allowed to run its course; it would 
not pass off without all sorts of destruction, of course, but 
that sort of thing is inseparable from all revolutions. The 
same might also take place elsewhere, e.g., in Algeria and 
Egypt, and would certainly be the best thing for us. We 
shall have enough to do at home. Once Europe is reor- 
ganized, and North America, that will furnish such colos- 
sal power and such an example that the semi-civilized 
countries will of themselves follow in their wake; eco- 


nomic needs, if anything, will see to that. But as to v/hat 
soc ial and pol itical PJ2f^ s these countries will then have 
to pasg through before they likewise arrive at socjali§Liir- 
ganization, I think we to-day can advance only rather idle 
hypotheses. One thing alone is certain: the victorious pro- 
letariat can force no blessings of any kind upon any for- 
eign nation without undermining its own victory by so 
doing. Which of course by no means excludes defensive 
wars of various kinds. . . . 


London, September 18, 1883 

... I thought the article on colonization very good. It 
is a pity that you make use chiefly of the German material, 
which is dull as usual and lacking the most vivid aspects 
of troDical colonization, and its latest form; I mean coloni- 
zation in the interests of stock exchange swindles, such 
as is now being enacted in Tunisia and Tonkin by France 
openly and frankly. A new striking example here of the 
South Sea slave traffic: the attempted annexation of New 
Guinea, etc., through Queensland was designed directly 
for the slave trade. On the day when the annexation ex- 
pedition departed for New Guinea, a Queensland ship, the 
Fanny, sailed for the same destination and for the islands 
east of it to kidnap labour, but returned without it and 
with wounded on board and other unpleasant signs of 
battle. The Daily News (the beginning of September) 
speaks of it and notes in an editorial that Englishmen can 
scarcely rebuke the French for practices of that kind until 
they do the same! . . . 


January 18, 1884 

... If you wish an example of state socialism, take 
Java. On the basis of the old communistic village com- 
munities the Dutch Government has there organized all 
production in so "socialistic" a fashion, and has so nicely 
taken all sales of the products into its own hands, that 
aside from about 100 million marks in salaries for of- 
ficials and the army it receives a net income of some 
70 million marks a year to pay interest to the luckless 
states which are creditors of the Dutch. In comparison, 
Bismarck is an innocent child! . . . 


London, February 16, 1884 

... It would be a good thing for somebody to take the 
pains of elucidating the state socialism now rampant by 
using the example of it in Java where its practice is in full 
bloom. All the material for that will be found in Java, Or 
How to Manage a Colony, by I. W. B. Money, Barrister at 
Law, London 1861, 2 vols. Here it will be seen how on the 
basis of the old community communism* the Dutch or- 
ganized production under state control and secured for 
the people what they considered a quite comfortable ex- 
istence. The result: the people are kept at the stage of 
primitive stupidity and 70 million marks (now surely more) 
are annually collected by the Dutch national treasury. This 
case is highly interesting and can easily be turned to prac- 
tical use. Incidentally it is proof of how today primitive 
communism furnishes there as well as in India and Russia 
the finest and"6foadest basis of exploitation and despot- 
ism (so long as it is not aroused by some element of mod- 
ern communism) and how in the conditions of modern 
society it turns out to be a crying anachronism (to be re- 
moved or further developed) as much as were the inde- 
pendent mark associations of the original cantons. . . . 

* Gemeindekommunismus. — Ed. 


London, September 22, 1892 

. . . Capitalist production, being a transitory econom- 
ical phase, is full of internal contradictions which develop 
and become evident in proportion as it develops. This tend- 
ency to destroy its own market at the same time it 
creates it, is one of them. Another is the Oeseuxodiwe no- 
AOMeHiie* to which it leads, and which is developed sooner 
in a country without a foreign market, like Russia, than 
in countries which more or less are capable of compet- 
ing on the open world market. This situation without an 
apparent issue finds its issue, for the latter countries, in 
commercial revulsions, in the forcible opening of new 
markets. But even then the cul-de-sac stares one in the 
face. Look at England. The last new market which could 
bring on a temporary revival of prosperity by its being 
thrown open to English commerce, is China. Therefore 
English capital insists upon constructing Chinese railways. 
But Chinese railways mean the destruction of the whole 
basis of Chinese small agriculture and domestic industry, 
and, as there will not even be the counterpoise of a Chi- 
nese grande industrie, hundreds of millions of people will 
be placed in the impossibility of living. The consequence 
will be a wholesale emigration such as the v/orld has not 
yet seen, a flooding of America, Asia and Europe by the 
hated Chinaman, a competition for work with the Amer- 
ican, Australian and European workman on the basis of 
the Chinese standard of life, the lowest of all — and if the 
system of production has not been changed in Europe be- 
fore that time, it will have to be changed then. . . . 

* Impasse. — Ed. 


London, September 23, 1894 

. . . The war between China and Japan signifies the end 
of old China, the complete, if gradual, revolution of its 
entire economic foundation, including the abolition of the 
old bonds between agriculture and industry in the coun- 
tryside by big industry, railways, etc., and thus also the 
mass exodus of Chinese coolies to Europe; consequently, 
a hastening for us of the debacle and the aggravation of 
antagonisms into a crisis. It is again the wonderful irony 
of history: China alone is still to be conquered for capi- 
talist production^ and in so doing at long last the latter 
makes its own existence at home impossible. . . . 


London, November 10, 1894 

. . . The war in China has given the death-blow to the 
old China. Isolation has become impossible; the introduc- 
tion of railways, steam-engines, electricity, and modern 
large-scale industry has become a necessity, if only for rea- 
sons of military defence. But with it the old economic sys- 
tem of small peasant agriculture, where the family also made 
its industrial products itself, falls to pieces too, and with 
it the whole old social system which made relatively dense 
population possible. Millions will be turned out and forced 
to emigrate; and these millions will find their way even to 
Europe, and en masse. But as soon as Chinese competition 
sets in on a mass scale, it will rapidly bring things to a 
head in your country and over here, and thus the conquest 
of China by capitalism will at the same time furnish the 
impulse for the overthrow of capitalism in Europe and 
America. . . . 


1. "Revolution in China and in Europe" was written by Karl Marx, 
like many other articles of this collection, for the New-York 
Daily Tribune, founded in 1841 by Horace Greeley, the well- 
known American journalist and politician. Until the mid-1850's it 
was a Left Whig paper and subsequently the organ of the Re- 
publican Party. In the forties and fifties it held progressive views 
and took a strong stand against slavery. A number of prominent 
American writers and journalists were associated with it. Charles 
Dana, who was strongly influenced by the ideas of Utopian so- 
cialism, was one of its editors at the close of the eighteen-forties. 
Marx's association with the newspaper began in August 1851 
and continued for more than ten years until March 1862. Many 
articles for the New-York Daily Tribune were written by Engels 
at Marx's request. The articles Marx and Engels wrote treated 
the key issues of international and domestic policy, the working- 
class movement, the economic development of the European 
countries, colonial expansion, the national-liberation movement 
in the oppressed and dependent countries, etc. During the period 
of reaction in Europe, Marx and Engels made use of the widely 
read American paper to expose with concrete materials the vices 
of capitalist society, its irreconcilable contradictions, and the 
limitations of bourgeois democracy. 

In some cases the New-York Daily Tribune editors took con- 
siderable liberties with the articles contributed by Marx and 
Engels, publishing some of them unsigned in the form of edito- 
rials, or tampering with the text. Marx protested repeatedly 
against this. In the autumn of 1857, Marx was compelled to 
reduce the number of his articles in connection with the econom- 
ic crisis in the United States, which affected the finances of the 
newspaper. Marx's association with the New-York Daily Tribune 
broke off entirely at the beginning of the American Civil War. 
This was largely due to the fact that advocates of a compromise 
with the slave-owning South had taken precedence in the news- 
paper and it departed from its former progressive positions, p. 15 


2. Marx refers to Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (1770-1831), the 
outstanding German philosopher who developed idealist dialec- 
tics, p. 15 

3. In 1851, an anti-feudal liberation movement broke out in China, 
which grew into a powerful peasant war. It began in the South, 
in Kwangsi Province, from where it spread to the central prov- 
inces and to almost all of the lower and middle Yangtze. In the 
course of the fighting the insurgents formed the Celestial Empire 
(Taiping tan-ho), with its seat in Nanking, whence the name of 
the movement — the Taiping Rebellion. Its members massacred 
Manchu feudais who held sway in China, lifted taxes and abol- 
ished big feudal property. The rebellion assumed a religious char- 
acter — the distinguishing feature of a peasant movement, espe- 
cially in the East — thereby delivering a blow at the Buddhist 
clergy and monasteries, this bulwark of the Manchu dynasty. 
The Taiping Rebellion set off an extensive struggle of the Chinese 
people against the feudal system and foreign invaders, but proved 
unable to do away with the feudal mode of production in China. 
The Taiping state formed its own feudal top strata which made 
a deal with the ruling classes; this was one of the causes why 
the movement declined. The main blow at it was dealt by the 
armed intervention of England, the U.S.A., and France (originally 
these countries aided the Manchu dynasty under the cover of 
"neutrality"), whose troops joined the Chinese feudais and in 
1864 put down the Taiping Rebellion. p. 15 

4. The reference is to the first Opium War of 1839-42, a predatory 
war waged by Britain against China, which started the conver- 
sion of China into a semi-colony. It was started over the destruc- 
tion of foreign merchants stocks of opium in Canton by the 
Chinese authorities. The British colonizers took advantage of the 
defeat suffered by backward feudal China and imposed the oner- 
ous Nanking treaty (August 29, 1842), which made China open to 
British commerce five of its ports — Canton, Amoy, Foochow, 
Ningpo, and Shanghai, cede the Island of Hongkong to Great 
Britain for "all time," and pay a big indemnity. In 1843 a supple- 
mentary treaty was signed, which granted foreigners extraterri- 
toriality in China. p. 16 

5. Early in the 17th century China was threatened by the united 
Manchu tribes (known together with the Turco-Mongol peoples 
as Tartars by the name of a Mongol tribe in north-eastern Mon- 
golia and Manchuria at the time of the formation of Genghis 
Khan's Empire). Despite the stubborn resistance of the Chinese 
people which developed into an open armed struggle and con- 
tinued until 1683, the invasion by the Manchus led to the rule 
of the Manchu Chin dynasty in the country (1644-1912). The sub- 
jugation of China was made easier by the crisis of the feudal 
state under the last emperors of the Ming dynasty and the com- 


ing over to the invaders' side of a part of the Chinese feudal 
lords who were alarmed by the peasant rebellions. p. 16 

6. The British East India Company was founded in 1600. Its agents 
established a number of factories in India. At the close of the 
17th century the Company began to seize Indian territory. During 
the 18th and the first half of the 19th centuries it waged san- 
guinary wars of conquest in the Carnatic, Bengal, Scinde, Punjab, 
and other regions of India with the effect that by the mid-19th 
century almost all India was under the sway of the Company. 
By deceit, blackmail, violence, and outright plunder its business- 
men laid their hands on colossal riches, which they transferred 
to England, thus making fabulous fortunes. The British Govern- 
ment granted the East India Company the right to monopoly 
trade with India and China and also the right to govern India 
and collect taxes from its population. The British Parliament 
periodically renewed the Charter of the East India Company, 
which defined its administrative and trading privileges. 

The British industrialists who wanted to market their products 
in India and the British commercial bourgeoisie whose interests 
were harmed by the Company's privileges, waged a persistent 
struggle against the Company demanding the abolition of its 
monopoly rights. In 1813 the British Parliament stripped it of its 
monopoly on the trade in India. By an act in 1833 the Company 
was also deprived of the China trade monopoly, but its right to 
govern India was preserved. In 1858, by a special edict of Queen 
Victoria, the East India Company was dissolved and its functions 
handed over to the Crown. p. 17 

7. The reference is to the discovery of rich gold deposits in Cali- 
fornia in 1848 and in Australia in 1851, which strongly influenced 
the economic development of the European and American coun- 
tries, p. 18 

8. The Economist — a British weekly devoted to questions of econom- 
ics and politics, founded in London in 1843 by the big industrial 
bourgeoisie. p. 20 

9. This article is part of Marx's international review written for the 
New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "Affairs 
in Holland — Denmark — Conversion of the British Debt — India — 
Turkey and Russia." p. 24 

10. The Coalition, Coalition Cabinet— the name of Aberdeen's Min- 
istry which was in office in 1852-55 and consisted of Whigs, Free 
Traders, and Peelites (adherents of Robert Peel, the leader of the 
moderate Tories). p. 24 

11. The Observer — a conservative British weekly established in Lon- 
don in 1791. p. 24 


12. Board (Court) of Directors — governing body of the East India 
Company elected annually from among the most influential asso- 
ciates of the Company and members of the British Government in 
India owning company shares worth not less than £2,000. The 
Court of Directors had its seat in London and was elected by the 
general meeting of shareholders, at which only holders of not less 
than £1,000 in shares had the right to vote. The Court had exten- 
sive powers in India until 1853. It was dissolved in 1858 when the 
East India Company was abolished. p. 24 

13. The Board of Control was set up in 1784; its six members were 
appointed by the Crown. The President of the Board of Control 
was a member of the Cabinet and, in effect, the Secretary of State 
for India and its supreme governor. The decisions of the Board of 
Control, whose seat was in London, were communicated to India 
through a Secret Committee comprising three Directors of the 
East India Company. Thus, a double system of Indian government 
came into being — the Board of Control (British Government) and 
the Court of Directors (East India Company). The Board of Con- 
trol was abolished in 1858. p. 25 

14. Downing Street — a street in the centre of London where the offi- 
cial residence of the Government is situated. 

Three Presidencies — according to the administrative division of 
British India, the name of the territories of Bengal, Bombay, and 
Madras governed by officials appointed by the East India Company. 
The Regulating Act of 1773 raised the Governor of Bengal to the 
rank of Governor-General of all Britain's Indian possessions, p. 25 

15. The Manchester School — an economic school which reflected the 
interests of the industrial bourgeoisie. Its supporters, the Free 
Traders, advocated Free Trade and non-interference by the state 
in economic affairs. Their centre was in Manchester where the 
movement was headed by Cobden and Bright, two textile manufac- 
turers, who formed an Anti-Corn-Law League in 1838. In the for- 
ties and fifties the Free Traders made up a separate political group 
which subsequently joined the British Liberal Party. 

By the "Indian Society" is meant the East Indian Reform Asso- 
ciation founded by Free Trader John Dickinson in March 1853. 

p. 25 

16. This article is part of Marx's international review written for 
the New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "The 
Russian Hambug — Gladstone's Failure — Sir Charles Wood's East 
Indian Reforms." P- 27 

17. The Zemindari System was introduced in Bengal and some other 
provinces by the 1793 Act on Permanent Zemindari issued by the 
British Governor-General in India. The law handed over the land, 
which belonged to the village communities from time immemorial, 
into the possession of the zemindars, or tax-collectors, thus estab- 


lishing a new class of big landowners. As land proprietors the ze- 
mindars had to pay the East India Company a portion of the land 
taxes collected from the expropriated peasants by violence and 

The Ryotwari System was introduced by the British authorities 
in the Presidencies of Bombay and Madras in 1818. Under this 
system the Indian peasant, the ryot, formerly a member of the 
village community, was turned into a tenant of government land. 
The ryot was obliged to pay rent-tax for his holding to the East 
India Company. If the ryot could not pay this high rent he lost 
the right to the land. Gradually the ryots' land fell into the pos- 
session of profiteers and usurers. p. 28 

18. Religion of the Lingam— the cult of the deity Siva; particularly 
widespread among the southern India sect of Lingayat (from the 
word ' linga"— the emblem of Siva), a Hindu sect which does not 
recognize distinctions of caste and denies fasts, sacrifices, and 

Juggernaut (Jagannath) — depiction of one of the chief Hindu 
gods, Vishnu. The cult of Vishnu-Juggernaut was marked by pom- 
pous ritual and extreme religious fanaticism which manifested it- 
self in the self-torture and suicide of believers. During the festiv- 
ities some of the believers threw themselves under the wheels of 
the car bearing the image of Vishnu-Juggernaut. p. 33 

19. Moguls — conquerors of Turkish descent who in the early 16th 
century invaded India from the east of Central Asia and founded 
in 1526 in northern India an empire of the Great Moguls (after 
the name of the ruling dynasty of the Empire). Contemporaries 
regarded the founders of the Mogul Empire as the direct de- 
scendants of the Mongol conquerors of Genghis Khan's time, hence 
the name "Moguls." The Moguls reached the zenith of their might 
in the mid-17th century by subjugating the greater part of India 
and part of Afghanistan. Later on, however, the Empire began 
to crumble due to peasant rebellions and the growing resistance 
by the Indian peoples to the Mohammedan conquerors and also 
due to the uninterrupted internal strife among the Moguls and 
the increasing separatist feudal tendencies. By the early half of 
the 18th century the Empire of the Great Mogul had practically 
ceased to exist. 

Heptarchy — a term used by the English historians to designate 
the political system of England in the early Middle Ages when 
the country consisted of seven Anglo-Saxon kingdoms (6th-8th 
cent.). Marx uses this word by analogy to denote the feudal dis- 
memberment of the Deccan (Central and Southern India) before 
its conquest by the Moslems. p. 33 

20. Brahmins — one of the four ancient Indian castes originally com- 
prising mainly privileged priests; subsequently it also embraced, 
like other Indian castes, people of various trades and social 
standing, including impoverished peasants and artisans. p. 33 

23—12 .555 

21. The Island of Salsette, to the north or Bombay, was famous for 
its 109 Buddhist cave temples. p. 33 

22. "Laissez-faire, laissez-aller" (grant freedom of action) — a slogan 
of bourgeois economists, adherents of Free Trade and the state's 
non-interference in economic affairs. p. 35 

23. This article is part of Marx's international review written for the 
New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "English 
Prosperity—Strikes — The Turkish Question — India." p. 40 

24. "Glorious" revolution — name given by English bourgeois histo- 
rians to the coup d'etat of 1688 v/hich deposed the English king 
James II supported by the reactionary feudals and brought to 
power William III of Orange, who was associated with big land- 
owners and the upper strata of the commercial bourgeoisie. The 
revolution extended the functions of Parliament which gradually 
came to hold supreme state power. p. 45 

25. The Seven Years' War (1756-63) — a war between two European 
coalitions — the Anglo-Prussian and the Franco-Russo-Austrian. 
One of the chief causes of the war was colonial and commercial 
rivalry between England and France. Aside from naval battles, 
the war was fought primarily in the American and Asian colo- 
nies of these states. The main theatre of operations in the East 
was India Where the French and their puppets from among the 
local princes were opposed by the East India Company, which 
had substantially increased its armed forces and took advantage 
of the war to seize Indian territories. As a result of the war, 
France lost almost all her possessions in India (excepting five 
coastal towns whose fortifications she was compelled to demol- 
ish), while England considerably strengthened her colonial might. 

p. 46 

26. Anti-Jacobin War — the war which England started against revo- 
lutionary France in 1793, when the Jacobins were in power in 
France, and which she continued against the Napoleonic Empire. 

Reform Bill. The reference is to the Electoral Reform carried j 
out by the British Parliament in June 1832. The Reform was 
aimed against the political monopoly of the landed and financial 
aristocracy and gave access to Parliament to representatives of 
the industrial bourgeoisie. The proletariat and the petty bour- 
geoisie, most prominent in the struggle for the Reform, were 
duped by the Liberal bourgeoisie and remained disfranchised. 

p. 47 

27. Marx lists a number of wars of conquest which the East India 
Company waged in India with the purpose of seizing Indian ter- 
ritories and crushing its chief colonial rival — the French East 
India Company. 

The War in the Carnatic lasted at intervals from 1746 to 1763. 


The warring sides — the British and French colonialists — sought to 
subjugate the Carnatic under guise of supporting different local 
pretenders to the principality. The English, who in January 1761 
took possession of Pondicherry, the principal French bastion in 
the south of India, ultimately won out. 

In 1756, in an effort to avert a British invasion the nabob of 
Bengal started a war, seizing Calcutta, the British base in north- 
eastern India. But the armed forces of the British East India 
Company under Clive's command soon recaptured that city, de- 
molished the French fortifications in Bengal and defeated the 
nabob at Plassey on June 23, 1757. The uprising that broke out 
in 1763 in Bengal, which had been turned into a vassal posses- 
sion of the Company, was crushed by the English colonialists. 
Along with Bengal, the English took possession of Bihar, which 
was under the rule of the nabob of Bengal. In 1803, the English 
completed the conquest of Orissa, which embraced several local 
feudal principalities subjugated by the Company. 

In 1790-92 and 1799 the East India Company waged war against 
Mysore, whose ruler Tippoo Sahib had taken part in previous 
Mysore campaigns against the English and who was an implac- 
able enemy of British colonialism. In the first of these wars 
Mysore lost half of its dominions, seized by the Company and its 
allied feudal princes. The second war culminated in a total de- 
feat for Mysore and the death of Tippoo. Mysore became a vas- 
sal principality. 

Subsidiary system — or system of so-called subsidiary agree- 
ments — a method of turning the potentates of Indian principal- 
ities into vassals of the East India Company. Most widespread 
were agreements under which the princes had to maintain (sub- 
sidize) the Company's troops stationed on their territory and 
agreements which saddled the princes with loans on exorbitant 
terms. Failure to fulfil them led to the confiscation of their pos- 
sessions, p. 48 

28. The first Anglo-Afghan V/ar of 1838-42, started by the British 
with the aim of seizing Afghanistan, ended in total failure for 
the British colonialists. 

The British colonialists seized Scinde in 1843. During the Anglo- 
Afghan War of 1838-42 the East India Company resorted to 
threats and violence to obtain the consent of the feudal rulers 
of Scinde for the passage of British troops across their posses- 
sions. Taking advantage of this, the British demanded in 1843 
that the local feudal princes proclaim themselves to be vassals 
of the Company. After crushing the rebel Beluchi tribes the an- 
nexation of the entire region by British India was announced. 

Punjab (northern India) was conquered in British campaigns 
against the Sikhs in 1845-46 and 1848-49. 

In the 16th century, the Sikhs were a religious sect in Punjab. 
Their teaching of equality became the ideology of the peasant 
movement against the Indian feudals and Afghan invaders in the 
late 17th century. As time went on, a feudal group emerged 

23* 355 

from among the Sikhs whose representatives stood at the helm 
of the Sikh state. In the early 19th century the latter included 
all Punjab and a number of neighbouring regions. In 1845, the 
British colonialists enlisted the support of traitors among the 
Sikh gentry to provoke a conflict with the Sikhs and in 1846 sue-  
ceeded in turning the Sikh state into a vassal principality. In 1848 
the Sikhs revolted, but were totally subjugated in 1849. The con- 
quest of Punjab turned all India into a British colony. p. 48 

29. The conquest of Burma was begun by the British colonialists 
early in the 19th century. In the first Burmese War of 1824-26 
the troops of the East India Company seized the Province of 
Assam bordering on Bengal and the coastal districts of Arakan 
and Tenasserim. The second Burmese War (1852) culminated in 
the seizure by the English of the Province of Pegu. A new cam- 
paign against Burma was expected in 1853, since no peace treaty 
had been signed at the close of the second Burmese War and the 
new Burmese king, who assumed power in February 1853, re- 
fused to recognize the seizure of Pegu. p. 54 

30. See Note 15. p. 60 

31. This article is part of Marx's international review written for the 
New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "The Turk- 
ish War Question — The New-York Daily Tribune in the House 
of Commons — The Government of India. p. 62 

32. Suttee— the Indian practice of cremating the widow on the funeral 
pile of her deceased husband. p. 68 

33. Leadenhall Street — a street in London where the East India 
Company had its seat, the East India House or the India House. 

p. 68 

34. In this case reference is made to the President of the Board of 
Control who was a member of the British Cabinet. The post of 
Secretary of State for India was instituted after the abolition of 
the East India Company in 1858. p. 70 

35. This article is part of Marx's international review written for the 
New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "The 
Russo-Turkish Difficulty— Ducking and Dodging of the British 
Cabinet— Nesselrode's Last Note— The East India Question." p.72 

36. See Note 15. P- 72 

37. Change Alley— a. street in London where the South Sea Company 
had its board; a centre of all kinds of money operations, p. 73 

38. Nabobs and Rajahs — titles of Indian princes; Jagirdars— represent- 
atives of the Moslem feudal gentry in the Great Mogul Empire 


who received in temporary use big estates (jagirs) for which they 
did military service and supplied contingents of troops. When the 
Empire disintegrated the jagirdars became hereditary feudal 
owners. p. 74 

39. Babur (1483-1530), the founder of the Great Mogul Empire, was 
a descendant of Tamerlane, who in his turn considered himself 
the successor of Genghis Khan. In the 18th century, after the 
disintegration of the Empire, the Mogul emperors were puppets 
of the governors of separate regions, Afghan conquerors, 
and big Indian feudals. After the seizure of Delhi in 1803 by 
the British they played the role of the men of straw of 
the East India Company and turned into its pensioners. In 1858 
the British colonizers declared India a possession of the 
British Crown and eliminated the last formal vestiges of Mogul 
power. p. 76 

40. This article is part of Marx's international review written for 
the New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "War 
in Burma— The Russian Question — Curious Diplomatic Corre- 
spondence." p. 77 

41. See Note 29. p. 77 

42. Hampton-Court — a palace near London on the Thames; from the 
16th to the 18th centuries it was the residence of English kings. 

p. 77 

43. This article is part of Marx's international review written for the 
New-York Daily Tribune. The full title of the review is "The War 
Question — Doings of Parliament — India." p. 79 

44. The East India House— the seat of the East India Company in 
London. p. 79 

45. Collector— a British official in India who performed the duties 
of the governor of a region, its chief judge, and main tax- 
gatherer, p. 80 

46. Mahrattas — an Indian people north-west of the Deccan. In the 
mid- 17th century they started a campaign against the Mogul 
feudals thus delivering a serious blow at the Empire of the Great 
Moguls and adding to its decline. In the course of the struggle 
the Mahrattas formed an independent state of their own whose 
feudal top stratum immediately embarked on the path of wars 
of conquest. At the close of the 17th century their state was 
weakened by internal feudal strife but early in the 18th century 
there was formed a powerful confederation of Mahratta prin- 
cipalities headed by a supreme governor, the peshwa. In 1761 
the Mahratta feudals suffered a costly defeat at the hands of the 
Afghans in the struggle for hegemony in India. Weakened by 


the struggle for supremacy in India and by internal feudal strife, 
the Mahratta principalities fell prey to the East India Company 
and became subordinate to it as a result of the Anglo-Mahratta 
War of 1803-05. p. 83 

47. Jats — a caste group in northern India whose bulk was made up 
of peasants; it also included military feudals. In the 17th cen- 
tury the Jat peasants repeatedly rose in revolt against the rule 
of the Mogul feudals. 

For Brahmins see Note 20. p. 88 

48. The Temple of Juggernaut in Orissa (eastern India) — the centre 
of the worship of Vishnu-Juggernaut, one of the chief Hindu 
deities. The priests of the temple who were under the protection 
of the East India Company reaped immense profits from mass 
pilgrimage while at the same time encouraging temple prostitu- 
tion, and from pompous festivities which were accompanied by 
the suicide and self-torture of fanatic believers. p. 89 

49. The reference is to the Anglo-Persian War of 1856-57. The pretext 
was afforded by an attempt of the Persian rulers to seize the 
Principality of Herat whose main city, of the same name, was 
an apple of discord between Persia and Afghanistan. The nation- 
al-liberation movement that began in 1857 forced the British 
Government to sign a hasty peace treaty with Persia. Under the 
peace treaty of March 1857 signed in Paris, Persia renounced her 
claims to Herat. In 1863 it was attached to the possessions of 
the Afghan emir. p. 91 

50. The reference is to the Anglo-Chinese treaty of October 8, 1843, 
signed as a supplement to the Nanking treaty concluded between 
Britain and China on August 29, 1842. (See Note 4.) 

The supplementary treaty of 1843 conceded new privileges to 
the British. It provided for the creation of special settlements for 
foreigners in open ports, granted the right of extraterritoriality, 
placing foreigners outside Chinese jurisdiction and gave the Brit- 
ish the "most favoured nation treatment." The reference here is 
to article 9 of this treaty under which Chinese associated with 
the British were removed from under the jurisdiction of the Chi- 
nese authorities. p. 94 

51. At that time the British Plenipotentiary in China was John 
Bowring, the well-known Liberal and Free Trader. On his orders, 
on October 24, 1856, the British subjected Canton to a merciless 
bombardment. p. 96 

52. After the first Opium War (1839-42) one of the demands per- 
sistently renewed by representatives of the British Government in 
China was the demand to allow British merchants to reside and 
trade in Canton. In April 1846 the British succeeded in reaching 
an agreement with the Chinese authorities under which Canton 


was declared open to foreigners. But in view of the vigorous 
protests of the Canton population the question was not settled. 
In 1847, the British by using threats secured the promise to open 
the city two years later. In 1849, however, the British Governor 
of Hongkong, Bonham, fearing a popular uprising in Canton, was 
compelled to renounce the demand. p. 97 

53. The reference is to the first Opium War of Britain against China, 
1839-42. For details concerning the war see Note 4. p. 100 

54. The Friend of China is an abbreviated title of the British official 
paper The Overland Friend of China published in Victoria (Hong- 
kong) from 1842 to 1859. p. 103 

55. This formula belongs to the British bourgeois sociologist Bentham, 
the theorist of utilitarianism — an individualistic ethics of a limited 
bourgeois nature. Utilitarianism is a teaching which regards 
"utility" and "profit" as the sole basis of morality and seeks 
to prove the possibility of universal "happiness" and "harmony" 
in capitalist societv, torn though it is by class contradictions. 

p. 103 

56. The Peace Society — a bourgeois pacifist organization founded in 
London in 1816. It was actively supported by Free Traders, who 
believed that in peacetime Britain would with the help of Free 
Trade make fuller use of her industrial superiority and secure 
economic and political supremacy. p. 103 

57. Chief of Whitehall — Palmerston. 

Whitehall — a street in the centre of London where the Govern- 
ment House was situated. p. 107 

58. "Resurrectionists"— -people in England who secretly exhumed 
corpses and sold them to anatomical theatres. In the 1820's wide 
notoriety was earned by the case of William Burke, of Edin- 
burgh, who invented a method of strangling people without 
visible signs of crime and sold dead bodies to anatomical thea- 
tres, p. 108 

59. Punch — an abbreviated title of the English bourgeois-Liberal 
humorous weekly, Punch or the London Charivari; has been ap- 
pearing in London since 1841. 

Grand Cophta — an imaginary name of an Egyptian priest, al- 
legedly the head of a masonic "Egyptian lodge," invented by 
Caliostro, the well-known 18th-century charlatan. The latter af- 
firmed that during his travels in Egypt he fathomed the secrets 
of Egyptian wisdom and in his activity was guided by the spirit 
of the all-powerful and omniscient Grand Cophta. p. 110 

60. Habeas Corpus Act was enacted by British Parliament in 1679. 
By this act each writ has to be motivated and a detainee brought 
before a court within a short space of time, or freed. The act 


does not extend to high treason and can be suspended by Par- 

With the words "butchered the people at Manchester" Marx 
alludes to the massacres by British troops on August 16, 1819 
of unarmed people who participated in a mass meeting favour- 
ing electoral reform and repeal of the Corn Laws, which took 
place in Saint Petersfield, near Manchester. 

Corn Laws— high grain tariffs adopted by British Parliament in 
1815. The Laws prohibited the importation of grain if its price 
within the country was less than 80 shillings a quarter. An ex- 
tremely heavy burden on the poor, the Corn Laws were a dis- 
advantage also to the industrial bourgeoisie since they made la- 
bour power dearer, restricted the home market and hampered the 
development of foreign trade. For many years the industrial bour- 
geoisie fought the big landlords for the repeal of the Corn Laws. 
They formed, under the leadership of the two Manchester manu- 
facturers and Free Traders, Bright and Cobden, an Anti-Corn- 
Law League which organized mass manifestations for the repeal 
of the Corn Laws. 

The Corn Laws were repealed in 1846. p. 112 

61. See Note 52. p. 115 

62. The reference is to the Anglo-Persian War of 1856-57 and to 
Britain's second Opium War against China, 1856-58. p. 123 

63. This and a number of later articles deal with the Indian revolt 
against British rule, which broke out in the spring of 1857. The 
sepoys constituted the military core of the revolt. It embraced 
large areas of Northern and Central India. Its driving force were 
the peasants and the poor rural artisans, but its leaders were 
feudals, with a few exceptions. Soon after the British authorities 
had declared that the possessions of the Indian princes, talukdars 
and others, would be returned to them (1858), the majority of 
the feudals who took part in the movement betrayed the rebels 
and went over to the British. The lack of united leadership and 
of a general plan of operations, to be explained largely by the 
caste system and feudal dismemberment of the country, were also 
instrumental in the defeat of the revolt. At the close of 1858 and 
the beginning of 1859 the British put down the revolt and made 
short work of its participants. p. 130 

64. For the conquest of Scinde and Punjab see Note 28. p. 130 

65. In 1856 the British colonizers, in violation of existing treaties, 
deposed the governor of Oudh (principality in Northern India) 
and annexed his possessions to the territory administered by the 
East India Company. p. 130 

66. Rajputs— a major caste and nationality of Central India. 

Brahmins. See Note 20. p. 136 


67. Jagirdar. See Note 38. 

Enamdar — the holder of an enam, a landed estate which was 
not taxable. 

Freeholders — a category of small landowners who originated 
from the mediaeval "free holders." A freeholder paid the lord 
an insignificant cash rent for his plot of land which he could 
dispose of at will. p. 143 

68. In the Vendee (a province in western France) the French royal- 
ists utilized the backward peasantry to engineer a counter-revolu- 
tionary revolt in 1793. It was crushed by the republican army, 
whose soldiers were known as the "Blues" (like all the supporters 
of the Convention). 

The Spanish guerrillas. This refers to the national-liberation 
movement of the Spanish people against the French invaders 
in 1808-14. 

The Serbian and Croatian detachments in the armies of Raja- 
cic and Jelacic took part in crushing the revolutionary movement 
in Hungary and Austria during the revolution of 1848-49. The 
aristocracy of Hungary opposed the demands of the Serbs and 
Croats for national independence. This gave the Austrian reac- 
tionaries a chance to use the Serbian and Croatian troops in 
their own interests to suppress the uprising in Budapest and 

The Garde Mobile was established by a French Government 
decree of February 25, 1848, to suppress the revolutionary 
masses. Its detachments, chiefly composed of declassed elements, 
were used to quell the uprising of Paris workers in June 1848. 
General Cavaignac, being the Minister of War, personally com- 
manded the massacre of the workers. 

Decembrists — members of the secret Bonapartist society of 
December 10. They were active organizers of mass repressions 
of republicans and particularly of participants of the 1848 rev- 
olution. The repressions were organized after the election of 
Louis Bonaparte as President of the Republic and after his coup 
d'etat of December 2, 1851. p. 146 

69. The Secretary of the Manchester Peace Society was John Bow- 
ring, a liberal, by whose orders Canton was subjected to a bar- 
barous bombardment on October 24, 1856. 

For the Peace Society see Note 56. 

A French Marshal — Marshal Pelissier. During the suppression 
of an insurrection in Algeria in 1845 he ordered a thousand Arab 
rebels hiding in mountain caves to be smoked to death by camp- 
fires at their entrances. p. 148 

70. The reference is to the East India Company Charter approved 
by British Parliament in 1853, which restricted the monopoly rights 
of the Company. The Company Directors were deprived of the 
right to appoint officials in India; their number was reduced 
from 24 to 18. The President of the Board of Control was put on 


a par with the Secretary of State for India. The shareholders, 
however, were guaranteed a fixed dividend from the Indian taxes. 

p. 158 

71. The hero of Satory — Louis Bonaparte (Napoleon III). 

In autumn 1850, on the Satory parade-ground near Versailles 
there was a military parade which Louis Bonaparte tried to con- 
vert into a Bonapartist demonstration. p. 195 

72. The reference is to the unequal treaty of Tientsin which con- 
cluded the second Opium War of 1856-58. It was imposed by 
Britain and her ally, France, on China in June 1858. It was also 
signed by the Russian Plenipotentiary. The treaty opened for 
foreign trade the Chinese ports on the Yangtze, in Manchuria, 
on the islands of Taiwan and Hainan, and also the port of Tien- 
tsin. Under this treaty diplomatic representatives of the foreign 
powers were to be allowed to reside in Peking; foreigners were 
to be permitted to travel freely throughout the country and to 
sail the inland waters; it also guaranteed protection to mission- 
aries. A similar treaty was signed between the United States and 
China. p. 208 

73. See Note 50. p. 218 

74. In the 1850's the Ionian Islands, which were under British pro- 
tectorate since 1815, were the scene of an increased national 
movement for union with Greece. In November 1858 Gladstone 
was sent to the islands on an extraordinary mission. Though the 
Legislative Assembly of Corfu (the chief Ionian island) unanimous- 
ly declared for the union with Greece, the British Government ! 
managed to drag out the solution of the question for a number j 
of years. It was only in 1864 that the Ionian Islands were turned 
over to Greece. . p. 224 

75. The treaty of Vienna was approved by the Vienna Congress, a 
congress of European monarchs and diplomats held from Sep- 
tember 1814 to June 1815. p. 225 

76. In 1798-99, the Russian squadron, under the command of Admiral 
Ushakov, liberated the Ionian Islands from the French. The is- 
lands received a Constitution which granted them self-govern- 
ment. In 1807, by the Tilsit Treaty, the islands were again sur- 
rendered to France and Napoleon I practically abolished the Con- 
stitution. In 1815, by decision of the Vienna Congress, the islands 
were transferred to Britain which established a protectorate over 
them and introduced a new Constitution endowing the British 
representative on the islands, the Lord High Commissioner, with 
unlimited powers. p. 227 

77. Square— a square in London where the main edi- 
torial office of The Times was situated. p- 229 


78. The reference is to a war waged by England and France against 
China in 1859-60. It ended with the victory of the interventionists 
and the signing of a peace treaty under which the Chinese Gov- 
ernment was obliged to pay a big indemnity to the victors, to 
open Tientsin to foreign merchants and to allow the exportation 
of coolies from China. p. 230 

79. For the treaty of Tientsin see Note 72. p. 230 

80. Peelite colleagues — Peelites — moderate Tories who supported the 
policy of collaborating with the Liberal bourgeoisie pursued by 
Robert Peel. p. 234 

81. The reference is to the Civil War of 1861-65 between the north- 
ern states, which came out for the abolition of Negro slavery, 
and the slave-owners, the planters of the southern states of 
North America. As Marx put it, this was a struggle of "two so- 
cial systems — the system of slavery and the system of free la- 
bour." The war ended with the victory of the northern states 
and the abolition of slavery in North America. p. 250 

82. Ireland, brought to utter impoverishment and ruin through Brit- 
ish landlord rule, was struck by a famine following the potato 
disease of 1845-46. Over a million Irishmen died of hunger, and 
the cholera epidemic of 1849. In the ensuing years, several mil- 
lion Irishmen emigrated from the country, mainly to America. In 
an article v/ritten in 1847, F. Engels described the position of 
Ireland as follows: 

". . . Famished Ireland is writhing in terrible convulsions. The 
workhouses are overpacked with beggars, the ruined proprietors 
refuse to pay the poor tax and crowds of starved people run into 
the thousands, plundering the barns and cattle-yards of the farm- 
ers and even of the Catholic priests whom they recently regarded 
but with reverence. 

"It appears that this winter the Irish will not agree to die 
of starvation as submissively as last winter. Irish immigration to 
England is assuming increasingly alarming proportions from day to 
day. It has been calculated that at an average 50,000 Irishmen 
arrive in England annually; this year, however, there have been 
more than 220,000. In September, 345 Irishmen arrived there 
daily, in October, 511 arrive each day." p. 252 

83. Fenians — members of an Irish revolutionary organization which 
sought to liberate Ireland from British rule and form a republic 
in the country. In 1867, the Fenians organized a revolt which was 
suppressed by the British troops. Their leaders were thrown into 
prison. p. 253 

84. King Bomba — nickname of Ferdinand II. p. 257 

85. In 1800, British Parliament approved the Union Act under which 


Ireland was forcibly incorporated in Britain and the Irish Parlia- 
ment was dissolved. The Union was made effective as of Jan- 
uary 1, 1801. p. 258 

86. In May 1882, in Phoenix Park, Dublin, Irish revolutionary terror- 
ists assassinated the State Secretary for India, Cavendish, and 
his assistant, Burke. p. 261 

87. The Brussels Congress devoted to questions of Free Trade took 
place at the end of 1847. Engels characterized the Congress as 
follows: "It was a strategic move in the Free Trade campaign 
then carried on by the English manufacturers. Victorious at home, 
by the repeal of the Corn Laws in 1846, they now invaded the 
Continent in order to demand, in return for the free admission 
of continental corn into England, the free admission of English 
manufactured goods to the continental markets." 

Marx was supposed to speak at the Congress, but did not. He 
delivered his speech on Free Trade at a meeting of the Brussels 
Democratic Association on January 9, 1848. p. 265 

88. Malthusians — adherents of the reactionary teaching of Thomas 
Robert Malthus (1766-1834), the well-known English economist. In 
his book Essay on the Principle of Population, he alleged that 
the growth of population outstrips, and will always outstrip, the 
growth in the quantity of means of consumption and that due to 
this "absolute law of population," the masses are inevitably 
doomed to poverty and starvation. Proceeding from this "law" 
invented by Malthus, his supporters asserted that wars, epidemics 
and natural calamities exert a "beneficial" influence on society 
since they reduce the population. 

Karl Marx subjected to scathing criticism this reactionary teach- 
ing and showed that there is no "absolute law of population," 
that each socio-economic system has its inherent law of popula- 
tion, that mass poverty and hardships are products of the capital- 
ist mode of production under which a tiny handful of exploiters 
appropriate the surplus labour of millions. He showed that the 
transition to communism will create such a high level of labour 
productivity and such an abundance of means of consumption as 
will make it possible for every man to fully satisfy his require- 
ments, p. 277 

89. The title of F. Engels's article is "Switzerland. Political Position 
of This Republic." 

Tribune — the New-York Daily Tribune. 

Marx refers to his article "The British Rule in India." p. 311 

90. Clearances or clearing of estates, the forcible eviction of peasants 
from the land cultivated by them and their forefathers from time 
immemorial, the destruction of peasants' houses and villages by 
the English landlords, the owners of the land, with a view to 
turning it into fields and pastures. p. 315 


91. In 1865 the Negro labourers and small peasants of Jamaica rose 
in revolt against the British planters who severely exploited them. 
British troops put down the revolt and committed dreadful atroc- 
ities against the Negro population. p. 320 

92. Federal soldiers — soldiers of the northern states in the American 
Civil War of 1861-65. p. 320 

93. The Central Council (later the General Council) — the leading body 
of the International Working Men's Association, the First Inter- 
national, p. 324 

94. The English (Protestant) Church was an established church in 
Ireland whose population was largely Catholic. The latter paid 
taxes to the English Church. p. 325 

95. During the 17th-century English bourgeois revolution a rebellion 
broke out in Ireland which led to an almost complete severance 
of a large part of the island from England. The rebellion was 
suppressed in 1649-52 with unusual brutality, and ended in a 
mass expropriation of the land in favour of new English land- 
lords. This strengthened the landlord-bourgeois elements in Eng- 
land and prepared the ground for the restoration of the mon- 
archy in 1660. p. 328 

96. United Irishmen— a secret revolutionary organization that came 
into existence under the influence of the French Revolution and 
aimed at forming an independent Irish Republic. The United Irish- 
men were the organizers of the Irish uprising in 1798. p. 330 


Aberdeen, George Hamilton 
Gordon, earl (1784-1860)— 
English politician and states- 
man, Tory, leader of Peelites 
from 1850, Foreign Secretary 
(1828-30, 1841-46) and 

Prime Minister of Coalition 
Ministry (1852-55).— 24, 62, 
192, 236, 237. 

Abicorn. See Hamilton, James. 

Aikin, John (1747-1822)— Eng- 
lish physician and radical au- 
thor.— 299. 

Akbar II — Indian Padishah, of 
Great Mogul dynasty (1806- 
37).— 133. 

Albemarle, George Thomas Kep- 
pel, earl (1799-1891)— English 
politician, Liberal; M.P.; in 
early 1820's held several com- 
manding posts in British co- 
lonial army. — 82. 

Alcock, Sir Rutherford (1809- 
1897)— English diplomat, 
consul at Peking (1865-71). — 

Alexander II Romanov (1818- 
1881)— Russian emperor 

(1855-81), assassinated by 
Russian revolutionary terror- 
ists (members of People's 

Will group) on March 1, 
1881.— 261. 

Amherst, William Pitt, earl 
(1773-1857)— English diplo- 
mat and statesman; Gover- 
nor-General of India (1823- 
28).— 77. 

Anderson, Adam (1692-1765). 
— Scottish economist. — 300, 

Anne (1665-1714)— Queen of 
England (1702-14).— 324. 

Anson, George (1797-1857)— 
English general, commander- 
in-chief of British troops in 
India (1856-57).— 136. 

Appa Sahib— Rajah of Satara 
(1839-48).— 143. 

Arabi, Ahmad Pasha (1839- 
1911) — a leader of Egyptian 
Nationalist Party, command- 
er-in-chief of Egyptian army. 

Aristotle (384-322 B.C.)— great 
ancient thinker. — 63, 141. 

Ashburnham, Thomas (1807- 
1872) — English general, com- 
manded military expedition 
in China (1857).— 133. 

Auckland, George Eden, earl 
(1784-1849)— English states- 
man, Whig; Governor-General 


of India (1836-1842).— 178, 
179, 239. 

Augier, Marie — French journal- 
ist.— 302. 

Aurungzeb (1618-1707)— Padi- 
shah of India (1658-1707), of 
Great Mogul dynasty. — 33. 


Bahadur Jang (1816-1877)— In- 
dian prince, factual ruler of 
Nepal from 1846, during 
Indian national revolt of 
1857-59 joined the British. — 

Bahadur Shah II (1767-1862)— 
last of Mogul emperors 
(1837-56, 1857); deposed by 
the English in 1856 but dur- 
ing national revolt in India 
was again proclaimed em- 
peror (1857); after capture of 
Delhi in September 1857 was 
arrested by the English and 
deported to Burma. — 76, 133, 

Baillie, Henry James — English 
government official, Secre- 
tary of Board of Control.— 

Balfour, George (1809-1894)— 
English officer and consul at 
Shanghai (1843-66).— 210. 

Barry, George (Richard Burke, 
Edward Winslow) (b. 1833)— 
Irish Fenian, colonel in Amer- 
ican army; in 1865 returned 
to Ireland, was tried for 
blowing up the prison in De- 
cember 1867 and sentenced 
to ten years' imprisonment. 

Bebel, August (1840-1913)— one 
of the founders and outstand- 
ing figures of German Social- 
Democracy. — 343. 

Bentham, Jeremy (1748-1832)— 

English bourgeois sociologist 
and jurist, denied existence 
of irreconcilable class contra- 
dictions in capitalist society, 
regarded capitalism as eter- 
nal and most perfect social 
system and with hypocrisy 
characteristic of bourgeois 
ideologist suggested building 
relations between people un- 
der capitalism on the prin- 
ciple "the-greatest-benefit-of- 
the-greatest-number." His 
teaching received the name 
of "utilitarianism."— 103. 

Bentinck, William (1774-1839) 
— British colonial official, 
Governor-General of India 
(1828-35).— 177. 

Bernier, Francois (1625-1688)— 
French writer, for many years 
physician at Great Mogul 
court. Author of Voyages 
contenant la description des 
etats du Grand Mogol, etc. — 

Bernstein, Eduard (1850-1932) 
— German Social-Democrat; 
after Engels's death leader of 
opportunist and revisionist 
wing of German Social-De- 
mocracy and of Second Inter- 
national. — 338. 

Bethune, John Elliot Drink- 
water (1801-1851)— English 
jurist and big official, mem- 
ber of council under Govern- 
or-General of India. — 29. 

Bismarck, Otto, prince (1815- 
• 1898) — Prussian statesman, 
Monarchist; Chancellor of 
German Empire (1871-90). 
Forcefully unified Germany 
under the head of Prussia. — 

Blackett, John Fenwick Bur- 
goyne (1821-1856)— English 
M.P.— 32. 


Blackstone, William (1723-1780) 
— English jurist, apologist of 
English constitutional mon- 
archy. — 149. 

Bolingbroke, Henry St. John 
(1678-1751)— English states- 
man and man of letters, 
Tory.— 295. 

Bonaparte, Louis. See Napole- 
on 111. 

Bonham, Samuel George (1803- 
1863) — British colonial offi- 
cial, Governor of Hongkong 
(1847-52), also performed dip- 
lomatic functions and super- 
vised trade with China.— 97, 
98, 115. 

Bourboulon, de — French Pleni- 
potentiary in China, 1856. — 
230, 231, 242. 

Bowring, John (1792-1872)— 
English politician and big co- 
lonial official, Liberal, follow- 
er of Bentham; Governor, 
commander-in-chief and vice- 
admiral of Hongkong (1854- 
57); performed diplomatic 
duties and supervised trade 
with China, in 1856 started 
second Opium War. — 102, 
104, 105, 106, 107. 

Brereton — British official in In- 
dia, Commissioner of Ludhia- 
na District, Punjab (1855).— 

Briggs, John (1785-1875)— Eng- 
lish general; was in service 
of East India Company (1801- 
35); member of Court of 
Proprietors of East India 
Company, Free Trader, wrote 
works on India. — 74, 201. 

Bright, John (1811-1889)— Eng- 
lish manufacturer and bour- 
geois politician, one of Free 
Trade leaders and founders 
of Anti-Corn-Law League; 

leader of Left wing of Liber- 
al Party since early 1860's; 
held several ministerial posts 
in Liberal Cabinets. — 30, 72, 
198, 199, 202. 

Brougham, Henry Peter, baron 
(1778-1868)— English jurist 
and author, in 20's and 30's 
prominent Whig leader; Lord 
Chancellor (1830-34); pro- 
moted 1832 Electoral Reform. 

Broughton. See Hobhouse, John 

Bruce, Frederick William Adolf 
(1814-1867)— English diplo- 
mat, Ambassador Extraordi- 
nary in China, 1852. — 230, 
231, 242, 245, 247, 248. 

Bruce, Henry Austin (1815- 
1895)— English Liberal, Home 
Secretary (1869-73).— 255. 

Buckingham, Henry Stafford 
(c. 1454-1483)— English feu- 
dal; promoted Richard Ill's 
accession to the throne, sub- 
sequently betrayed him and 
was executed. — 108. 

Bulwer. See Lytton. 

Bulwer, William Henry Lytton 
(1801-1872)— English diplo- 
mat, Commissioner in Molda- 
via and Valahia (1856-58), 
ambassador at Madrid (1843- 
48), ambassador at Constan- 
tinople (1858-65).— 236, 237. 

Burke, Edmund (1729-1797)— 
English publicist and politi- 
cian, Whig, M.P.; subsequent- 
ly reactionary. — 70, 301. 

Burke, Richard. See Barry, 

Burke, Thomas Henry (1829- \ 
1882)— Undersecretary for 
Ireland (1869-82).— 261. 


Bumes, James (1801-1862)— 
brother of Alexander Burnes, 
doctor.— 238. 

Burnes, Sir Alexander (1805- 
1841) — English diplomatic 
agent in Kabul, capital of 
Afghanistan.— 238, 239, 240. 

Butler, Benjamin Franklin 
(1818-1893)— American gen- 
eral, one of commanders of 
Northern troops in Civil War 
of 1861-65.— 320. 

Caesar (Gaius Julius) (c. 100-44 
B.C.) — famous Roman gen- 
eral and statesman. — 149. 

Campbell, Colin, Baron Clyde 
(1792-1863)— English general, 
later field-marshal, took part 
in Crimean War in 1854-55, 
commander-in-chief of British 
army during Indian national 
revolt of 1857-59.— 167, 169, 
170, 171, 187, 188, 189, 190. 

Campbell, George (1824-1892) 
— English administrator in 
India (1843-74, intermittent- 
ly), author of several works 
on India; M.P. (1875-92), Lib- 
eral.— 67, 75, 81, 82, 87, 173, 
201, 202. 

Canning, Charles John (1812- 
1862) — English statesman, 
Tory, Governor-General of 
India (1856-1862), organized 
suppression of Indian nation- 
al revolt of 1857-59.— 153, 

156, 157, 165, 172, 174, 175, 

184, 185. 

Canning, George (1770-1827)— 
English statesman and diplo- 
mat, one of Tory leaders, 
Foreign Secretary (1807-09, 
1822-27), Prime Minister 
(1827).— 220. 

Capo D'lstria, Giovanni Anto- 
nio, count (1776-1831)— Greek 
and Russian statesman and 
diplomat, of Greek descent, 
entered Russia's service in 
1809; took part in Vienna 
Congress in 1814-15; Second 
Secretary of State for For- 
eign Affairs in Russia 
(1815-22), head of Greek 
Government (1827-31). — 


Carey, Henry Charles (1793- 
1879) — American economist, 
advocated theory of har- 
mony of class interests. — 311. 

Carey, Martin Hanley — Irish 
journalist, Fenian, sentenced 
to five years' imprisonment 
in 1866.— 254. 

Cass, Lewis (1782-1866)— Amer- 
ican statesman, Secretary of 
War (1831-1836), member of 
U.S. Senate (1845-48, 1849- 
57), Secretary of State (1857- 
60).— 192. 

Castlereagh, Robert Stewart, 
viscount, Marquis of London- 
derry (1769-1822)— English 
reactionary statesman, Tory, 
Secretary of State for War 
and Colonies (1805-06, 1807- 
09), Foreign Secretary (1812- 
1822).— 112. 

Cavaignac, Louis Eugene (1802- 
1857) — French general, bour- 
geois republican, took part 
in conquest of Algeria (1831- 
48), notorious for his bar- 
barous methods of waging 
war; as War Minister put 
down June 1848 uprising of 
Paris workers with unheard- 
of ferocity. — 146. 

Cavendish, Frederick Charles, 
lord (1836-1882)— English 

statesman, Liberal, Irish Se- 



retary (1882), assassinated 
by Irish revolutionaries. — 

Chapman, John (1801-1854)— 
English publicist, bourgeois 
Radical, supporter of reforms 
in India.— 87. 

Charles 1 (1600-1649)— King of 
Great Britain (1625-49), ex- 
ecuted during English 17th- 
century bourgeois revolution. 
—44. " 

Charles V (1500-1558)— King of 
Spain (1516-56), Holy Ro- 
man Emperor (1519-56). — 

Child, Josiah (1630-1699)— Eng- 
lish economist, banker, and 
merchant; Mercantilist; 

Chairman of Court of 
Directors of East India 
Company (1681-83, 1686-88). 
—60, 301. 

Ching— Manchu dynasty of Chi- 
nese emperors (1644-1912). — 

Chisholm, Anstey (1816-1873)— 
English jurist and politician, 
Radical, M.P.; British Attor- 
ney-General at Hongkong 
(1854-58).— 233. 

Clarendon, George William 
Frederick Villiers, earl (1800- 
1870) — English statesman, 
Whig, later Liberal, as Vice- 
roy of Ireland (1847-1852) 
severely put down Irish re- 
volt of 1848, Foreign Secre- 
tary (1853-58, 1865-66, 1868- 
70).— 113, 195. 

Clive, Robert (1725-1774)— 
Governor of Bengal (1757-60 
and 1765-67, one of most cruel 
British colonizers during Brit- 
ain's conquest of India. — 48. 

Cobbett, William (1762-1835)— 

English politician and publi- 
cist, prominent representative 
of petty-bourgeois radicalism, 
fought for democratization of 
English political system, in 
1802 started publication of 
Weekly Political Register. — 
149, 294, 297. 

Cobden, Richard (1804-1865)— 
English manufacturer and 
politician, one of Free Trade 
leaders and founders of Anti- 
Corn-Law League. — 101, 106, 

Cockburn, G. — British govern- 
ment official. — 192. 

Colbert, Jean Baptiste (1619- 
1683) — French statesman, 
Mercantilist.— 297. 

Cooke, George Wingrove (1814- 
1865) — English Liberal his- 
torian and journalist, corre- 
spondent of The Times in 
China (1857).— 219, 221. 

Cornwallis, Charles (1738-1805) 
—English reactionary politi- 
cian; Governor-General of 
India (1786-93); when Vice- 
roy of Ireland (1798-1801), 
suppressed 1798 rebellion. — 

Cranworth, Robert Monsey 
Rolfe,- baron (1790-1868)— 
English statesman and jurist, 
Whig, Lord Chancellor (1852- 
-58, 1865-1866).— 101. 

Cromwell, Oliver (1599-1658) 
— leader of bourgeoisie and 
bourgeoisified nobility in the 
17th-century bourgeois revo- 
lution in England; from 1653 
Lord Protector of England, 
Scotland, and Ireland. — 323, 
328, 330. 

Culpeper, Thomas (1578-1662) 
— English economist who 
advocated the interests of 


industrial capital in contra- 
distinction to usurer's cap- 
ital.— 301. 

Curran, John Philpot (1750- 
1817) — Irish judge, well 
known for his remarkable 
speech in favour of Irish in- 
surgents in 1798.— 329, 330. 


Dalhousie, James Andrew Ram- 
say, marquis (1812-1860)— 
English statesman, Governor- 
General of India (1848-56), 
pursued predatory colonial 
policy.— 28, 29, 152-53, 155, 
175, 180, 201, 205. 

Danielson, Nikolai Franzevich 
(1844-1918)— Russian econ- 
omist and one of ideologists 
of liberal Narodism; first to 
translate Volume I of Marx's 
Capital into Russian. — 337. 

Davies, John (1569-1626)— Eng- 
lish statesman and author, 
Attorney General for Ireland. 

Derby, Edward George Geof- 
frey Smith Stanley, earl (1799- 
1869) — English politician and 
statesman, Tory leader, dur- 
ing latter half of 19th cen- 
tury one of Conservative 
Party leaders; Prime Minis- 
ter (1852, 1858-59, 1866-68). 
—101, 103, 104, 106, 184, 203, 
204, 224, 225, 226, 235, 236, 
238, 249, 256. 

Dickinson, John (1815-1876)— 
English publicist, Free Trad- 
er; author of several books 
on India, one of founders of 
Indian Reform Association. — 
53, 70. 

Disraeli, Benjamin, Earl of Bea- 
consfield (1804-1881)— Eng- 
lish statesman and man of 

letters, one of Tory leaders, 
during latter half of 19th 
century one of Conservative 
Party leaders; Chancellor of 
the Exchequer (1852, 1858- 
59, 1866-1868), Prime Min- 
ister (1868, 1874-1880).— 62, 
140, 141, 142, 143, 145, 245, 
246, 256. 

Dost Mohammed (1793-1863)— 
Afghan Emir (1843-63).— 238, 
239, 240. 

Doubleday, Thomas (1790-1870) 
— English Liberal publicist 
and economist, opposed Mal- 
thus's theory. — 297. 

Dufferin, Blackwood Frederick 
Temple, lord (1826-1902)— 
English diplomat and states- 
man, owned large estates in 
Ireland, Undersecretary for 
India (1864-66), Governor- 
General of India (1884-88).— 

Eden — British official in India. 

Eden, Frederick Morton (1766- 
1809) — English bourgeois 

economist, follower of A. 
Smith.— 297, 298, 301. 

Elgin (Kincardine), James 
Bruce (1811-1863)— English 
diplomat, during second Opi- 
um War was sent to China 
as special envoy (1857-58, 
1860-61), Viceroy of India 
(1862-63).— 133, 233, 245, 246, 
247, 248, 249, 319. 

Elizabeth I (1533-1603)— Queen 
of England (1558-1603).— 44, 
49, 323. 

Ellenborough, Edward Law, 
earl (1790-1871)— English 

statesman, Tory, M.P., Gov- 



ernor-General of India (1841- 
44); First Lord of Admiralty 
(1846); President of Board of 
Control (1858).— 67, 74, 172, 
175, 184. 

Elphinstone, Mountstuart (1779- 
1859) — Governor of Bombay 
(1819-27), author of History 
of India. — 75. 

Ferdinand II (1810-1859)— King 
of the two Sicilies (1830-59). 

Feth-ali-Shah (1762-1834)— 

Iranian Shah (1797-1834).— 

Fielden, John (1784-1849)— Eng- 
lish politician and big capi- 
talist, disciple of Cobbett. 
Advocated ten hours' bill. — 
298, 299. 

Fox, Charles James (1749-1806) 
— English statesman, Whig 
leader; Foreign Secretary in 
Portland Coalition Cabinet 
(Fox-North Cabinet), 1783.— 
27, 46. 

Garibaldi, Giuseppe (1807-1882) 
— Italian revolutionary dem- 
ocrat, headed Italian nation- 
al-liberation and reunifica- 
tion movement. — 253. 

Gamier-Pages, Etienne Joseph 
Louis (1801-1841)— French 
lawyer and politician, took 
part in 1830 revolution, sat 
in Chamber of Deputies 
(1831-34, 1835-41) and defend- 
ed interests of petty and mid- 
dle bourgeoisie.— -141. 

Gamier-Pages, Louis Antoine 
(1803-1878)— French politi- 
cian, moderate bourgeois 
Republican, member of 

provisional Government 

and Mayor of Paris (1848).— 

Genghis Khan (c. 1155-1227)— 
Mongol conqueror, founder 
of Mongol Empire. — 188. 

George I (1660-1727)— King of 
Great Britain (1714-27).— 50. 

George II (1683-1760)— King of 
Great Britain (1727-60).— 50, 

George III (1738-1820)— King of 
Great Britain (1760-1820).— 
46, 50. 

Gibbon, Edward (1737-1794)— 
English historian, author of 

The History of the Decline 
and Fall of the Roman Em- 
pire. — 141. 

Gladstone, William Ewart 
(1809-1898)— English states- 
man, Tory, later Peelite, Lib- 
eral Party leader during lat- 
ter half of 19th century; 
Chancellor of the Exchequer 
(1852-1855, 1859-66), Prime 
Minister (1868-74, 1880-85, 
1886, 1892-1894).— 27, 197, 
206, 224, 225, 234, 255, 257, 
267, 325, 335, 336. 

Godwin, Henry Thomas (1784- 
1853) — English general, com- 
mander-in-chief of British 
troops during second Anglo- 
Burmese War (1852).— 77. 

Goethe, Johann Wolfgang 
(1749-1832)— great German 
poet and thinker.— 39. 

Granville, George Leveson-Go- 
wer, earl (1815-1891)— Eng- 
lish statesman, Whig, subse- 
quently one of Liberal Party 
leaders, Foreign Secretary 
(1851-52, 1870-74, 1880- 
1885), Secretary of State for 
Colonies (1868-70, 1885).— 


Grattan, Henry (1746-1820)— 
Irish statesman and well- 
known M.P.— 330. 

Grey, Charles, earl (1764-1845) 
— English statesman, one of 
Whig leaders, Prime Minister 
(1830-34).— 227. 

Grey, Henry George, earl, 
(1802-1894)— English states- 
man, Whig, Secretary for 
Military Affairs (1835-1839) 
and Secretary for Colonies 
(1846-52), son of Charles 
Grey.— 105, 106, 192, 195. 

GU.tzla.ff, Karl Friedrich August 
(1803-1851)— German mis- 
sionary in China — 13. 


Hadfield, George (1787-1879)— 
English Liberal, M.P.— 238. 

Halliday, Frederick James 
(1806-1901)— official of East 
India Company, Governor of 
Bengal (1854-1859).— 63. 

Hamilton, James (1811-1885)— 
English statesman, Viceroy of 
Ireland.— 322. 

Hardinge, Henry (1785-1856)— 
English field-marshal and 
statesman, Tory; Governor- 
General of India (1844-47), 
commander-in-chief of Brit- 
ish army (1852-55).— 180. 

Hastings, Warren (1732-1818)— 
one of East India Company's 
vultures, took part in con- 
quering and plundering Ben- 
gal, first Governor-General of 
India. At British Parliament's 
urgent request was brought 
to trial in 1788 for ferocity 
and plunder committed in 
India. In 1795 was acquitted 
and the Company granted 
him large pension. — 291. 

Havelock, Henry (1795-1857)— 
English general, in 1857 took 
part in suppressing Indian 
national revolt. — 189. 

Hegel, George Wilhelm Fried- 
rich (1770-1831)— outstand- 
ing representative of German 
classical philosophy, objec- 
tive idealist, gave most thor- 
ough analysis of idealist dia- 
lectics. — 14. 

Hendricks — English statistician. 

Hennessy, John (1834-1891)— 
Irish politician, Tory. — 324. 

Hermentier — 210. 

Herries, John Charles (1778- 
-1855) — English statesman, 
Tory.— 62. 

Hobhouse, John Cam, Baron 
Broughton (1786-1869)— Eng- 
lish statesman, Whig, Presi- 
dent of Board of Control 
(1835-41, 1846-1852).— 41, 


Hodel, Max (1857-1878)— tin- 
smith from Leipzig, in 1878 
made attempt on life of Ger- 
man Emperor Wilhelm I, ex- 
ecuted on August 16, 1878, 
onMoabith.— 261. 

Hodgskin, Thomas (1787-1869) 
— English economist. — 282. 

Hogg, James Weir (1790-1876) 
 — English politician, M.P., 
President of Court of Direc- 
tors, East India Company 
(1846-47, 1852-53).— 30, 32. 

Homer (c. IX B.C.) — ancient 
Greek poet, alleged author of 
Iliad and Odyssey. — 224. 

Hope, James (1808-1881)— Eng- 
lish admiral, commanded 
British military expedition in 
China (1859).— 230, 231. 


Horner, Francis (1778-1817)— 
English economist. — 300. 

Howitt, William (1791-1879)— 
English author, wrote several 
essays on Australian aborig- 
inal population. — 290. 

Hsien Feng (1830-1861)— Chi- 
nese Emperor (1850-61)— 17, 

Hsii. Kuang-chin — Chinese Gov- 
ernor-General of Kwangtung 
and Kwangsi provinces (1847- 
52).— 98. 

Hsu Nai-chi — Chinese states- 
man. — 215. 

Hume, Joseph (1777-1855)— 
English politician, one of 
bourgeois Radical leaders, 
M.P.— 32, 72. 

Hunt, Freeman (1804-1858)— 
English publicist, published 
Merchant's Magazine and 
Commercial Review. — 209. 

Inglis, John Eardley Wilmot 
(1814-1862)— English general, 
took part in quelling Indian 
national revolt of 1857-59. 

Jocelyn, Robert, viscount (1816- 
1854) — English officer and 
M.P.— 72. 

Jones, Hartford (1764-1847)— 
English diplomat, ambassa- 
dor in Iran (1807-11).— 92. 


Kautsky, Karl (1854-1938)— 
one of theorists of German 
.Social-Democracy and Sec- 
ond International; broke with 
Marxism and became ren- 

egade following outbreak of 
world imperialist war of 
1914-18. After Great October 
Socialist Revolution — a sworn 
enemy of Soviet Russia. — 
340, 342, 344, 346. 

Kaye, John Williams (1814- 
1876)— English war histo- 
rian, Secretary in Political 
and Secret Department of 
Ministry for Indian Affairs. — 

Kepler, Johann (1571-1630)— 
great German astronomer. — 

Kickham, Charles Joseph (1826- 
1882) — Irish Fenian, a con- 
tributor to The Irish People, 
in 1866 was sentenced to 14 
years' imprisonment, but am- 
nestied in 1869.— 254. 

Kugelmann, Ludwig (1830-1902) 
— Hanover physician, took 
part in 1848 revolution, mem- 
ber of First International. — 
325, 327. 

Kuli Khan. See Nadir Shah. 

Labouchere, Henry (1798-1869) 
— English statesman, Whig, 
President of Board of Trade 
(1839-41, 1847-52), Colonial 
Secretary (1855-58).— 111. 

Lavergne, Louis Gabriel Leonce 
de (1809-1880)— French econ- 
omist.— 287. 

Lawrence, Henry Montgomery 
(1806-1857)— English general, 
Resident at Nepal (1843-46), 
President of Board of Admin- 
istration in Punjab (1849-53), 
Chief Commissioner of Oudh 
(1857).— 132. 

Lawrence, John Laird Mair 
(1811-1879)— big official of 


British colonial administra- 
tion, Chief Commissioner of 
Punjab (1853-57>, Viceroy of 
India (1864-69).— 147. 

Leeds, duke. See Osborne, 

Liebig, Justus von (1803-1873) 
— outstanding German scien- 
tist, one of founders of agro- 
chemistry. — 127. 

Lin Tse-hsu (1758-1850)— Chi- 
nese statesman, Viceroy of 
Kwangtung and Kwangsi 
(1839), tried to stamp out 
British opium trade in China. 

Louis Bonaparte. See Napoleon 

Louis XIV (1638-1715)— King of 
France (1643-1715).— 93. 

Louis Napoleon. See Napoleon 

Louis Philippe I (1773-1850)— 
King of France (1830-48).— 
44, 45, 174. 

Lowe, Robert (1811-1892)— Eng- 
lish statesman and publicist, 
contributor to The Times, 
Liberal, Vice-President of 
Board of Trade (1855-58), 
Chancellor of the Exchequer 
(1868-73), Home Secretary 
(1873-74).— 111. 

Lushington — British government 
official.— 192. 

Luther, Martin (1483-1546)— 
founder of Protestantism 
(Lutheranism) in Germany. — 

Lyndhurst, John Singleton Cop- 
ley, baron (1772-1863)— 
English statesman, Tory, 
Lord Chancellor (1827-30, 
1834-35, 1841-46).— 101, 104. 

Lytton, Edward George Earle 

Lytton Bulwer (1803-1873)— 
English author and politician, 
M.P. (1831-41, 1852-66), 
Secretary for Colonies (1858- 
-59).— 101. 


Macaulay, Thomas (1800-1859) 
— English bourgeois historian 
and politician, Whig, M.P.; 
as Councillor (1833-38) pre- 
pared penal code for India 
which was enacted in 1860. 
—29, 67. 

MacDonnell — physician of 

Mountjoy convict prison, 
Dublin.— 256, 257. 

Machiavelli, Niccolo (1469-1527) 
— Italian politician and writ- 
er.— 225. 

Maitland, Thomas (1759-1824) 
— English general, Governor 
of Malta (1813), Lord High 
Commissioner of Ionian Is- 
lands and commander-in- 
chief of British armed forces 
in Mediterranean Sea (1815). 

Malcolm, John (1769-1833)— 
English diplomat, consul in 
Iran (1799-1801, 1808-09, 
1810), Governor of Bombay 
(1826-30), author of several 
works on India and Iran. — 
74, 91. 

Malmesbury, James Howard 
Harris, earl (1807-1889)— 
English statesman, Tory, 
prominent Conservative figure 
in latter half of 19th century, 
Foreign Secretary (1852, 
1858-59), Lord Privy Seal 
(1866-68, 1874-76).— 191, 

192, 193, 195, 246, 247, 248, 

Malthus, Thomas Robert (1766- 
1834) — English bourgeois 


economist, author of reaction- 
ary theory of population. — 

Martin, James, baron (1815- 
1886)— English jurist, Chair- 
man of Central Criminal 
Court.— 224. 

Marx, Jenny (1844-1883)— eld- 
est daughter of Karl Marx. — 
335, 336. 

Massie, Joseph (d. 1784) — Eng- 
lish economist, representative 
of classical bourgeois politi- 
cal economy.— 303. 

Mayo-Burke, Richard South- 
well, earl (1822-1872)— Sec- 
retary for Ireland (1852, 
1858).— 256. 

Meagher, Thomas (1823-1867) 
— Irish revolutionary, in 1848 
conducted revolutionary prop- 
aganda in Ireland; later mi- 
grated to America. — 323. 

Mill, John Stuart (1806-1873)— 
English bourgeois economist 
and positivist philosopher. — 

Milner Gibson, Thomas (1806- 
• 1884) — English politician, 
Free Trader, President of 
Board of Trade (1859-65, 
1865-66).— 215, 234, 235, 244. 

Minto, Gilbert Elliot, earl (1751- 
1814) — English statesman, 
Whig, ambassador at Vienna 
(1799-1801), Governor-Gen- 
eral of India (1807-1813).— 92. 

Mirabeau, Victor (1715-1789)— 
French physiocrat economist. 

Mohammed Ali Shah—King of 
Oudh (1837-42).— 178. 

Moliere, Jean Baptiste (1622- 
1673) — great French play- 
wright. — 149, 

Montesquieu, Charles (1689- 
1755) — French sociologist, 
economist and man of letters, 
ideologist of constitutional 
monarchy.— 141, 295. 

Montgomery, Martin — English 
merchant. — 208-09, 210. 

Moore, George Henry (1811- 
-1870)— Irish M.P. (1847-57 
and 1868-70).— 255. 

Mouravieff (Amursky), Nikolai 
Nikolayevich (1809-1881)— 
Russian general, Governor- 
General of Siberia (1847-61) 

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus 
(1756-1791)— great Austrian 
composer. — 149. 

Mulcahy, Denis Dowling— Irish 
journalist, Fenian, member 
of editorial board of The 
Irish People (1863-65), in 1866 
sentenced to ten years' impris- 
onment, amnestied in 1871. 

Mulgrave, George Augustus, 
Phipps (1819-1890)— English 
statesman, Whig, M.P. (1847- 
57), Household Treasurer 
(1853-58), later Governor of 
several British colonies.— 111. 

Mun, Thomas (1571-1641)— Eng- 
lish merchant and economist, 
Mercantilist, Director of East 
India Company from 1615.— 

Munro, Thomas (1761-1827)— 
British Governor-General of 
Madras (1819-27).— 75. 

Murray, John— inspector of 
Mountjoy convict prison, 
Dublin.— 256, 257. 

Mustoxidis, Andrei (1785-1860) 
Greek politician and scien- 
tist, from 1828 stood at the 
head of Greek public educa- 
tion.— 228. 



Nadir Shah (Kuli Khan) (1688- 
1747)— King of Persia (1736- 
47); undertook predatory 
campaign against India (1738- 
39).— 29, 33. 

Napoleon I (Bonaparte) (1769- 
1821) — French Emperor 

(1804-14, 1815).— 149, 220. 

Napoleon III (Louis Napoleon 
Bonaparte) (1808-1873)— 

French Emperor (1852-70).— 
72, 93, 146, 172, 174, 195, 225, 
229, 235, 316. 

Nasr-ed-Din (1831-1896)— King 
of Persia (1848-96).— 138. 

Nazir-ed-Din (d. 1837)— King 
of Oudh (1827-37).— 177. 

Newman, Francis William 
(1805-1897)— English profes- 
sor of philology and man of 
letters, author of several 
works on religious, political 
and economic problems; 
bourgeois Radical. — 60. 

Newton, Isaac (1642-1727)— 
great English scientist.— 15. 

Nicholas I (1796-1855)— Rus- 
sian Emperor (1825-55).— 174, 
226, 239. 

Nobiling, Karl-Eduard (1848- 
1878) — German agronomist, 
anarchist, in June 1878 made 
unsuccessful attempt on Wil- 
helm I, German Emperor, 
after which committed sui- 
cide.— 261. 

Nolan, Lewis Edward (c. 1820- 
1854) — English officer, served 
in India, took part in Crimean 
War of 1853-56, author of 
several works on cavalry. — 

North, Frederick (1732-1792)— 
English statesman, Chancel- 

lor of the Exchequer (1767), 
Prime Minister (1770-1782); 
Home Secretary in Portland 
Coalition Cabinet (Fox-North 
Cabinet) in 1783.— 27, 46-47. 


O'Connell, Daniel (1775-1847)— 
leader of Irish nationalists, 
founder of clerical national 
League, British M.P.— 232, 
259, 261. 

Odger, George (1820-1877)— 
English worker, one of trade- 
union leaders, member of 
General Council of First In- 
ternational, after Paris Com- 
mune — renegade. — 325. 

O'Donnell. See MacDonnell. 

O'Donovan Rossa, Jeremiah 
(1831-1915)— one of Irish Fen- 
ian leaders, proprietor of The 
Irish People (1863-65), in 
1865 sentenced to life impris- 
onment; when amnestied sev- 
eral years later he emigrated 
to America where he headed 
local colony of Irish Fenians 
and published newspaper The 
United Irishmen.— -253, 259, 
328, 335. 

O'Leary (Murphy) — Irish Fen- 
ian, for propaganda among 
Irish soldiers was sentenced 
to ten years' imprisonment. 

Osborne, Thomas, from 1689 
Marquis of Carmarthen, from 
1694 Duke of Leeds (1631- 
1712)— English statesman, 
Tory, Prime Minister (1674- 
79), factual leader of govern- 
ment (1690-95); in 1695 was 
charged with bribery by the 
House of Commons. — 45, 203. 

Outram, James (1803-1863)— 
English general, Resident at 


Lucknow (1854-56), com- 
manded military expedition in 
Iran (1857), Chief Commis- 
sioner of Oudh (1857-58), 
took part in suppressing In- 
dian national revolt of 1857- 
59.— 179. 


Palmer, William (1824-1856)— 
English physician, poisoned 
his wife, brother, and friend 
to collect life insurance; was 
sentenced to death by hang- 
ing.— 210. 

Palmerston, Henry John Tem- 
ple, viscount (1784-1865)— 
English statesman, first Tory, 
then (from 1830) one of Whig 
leaders who found support 
among Right elements of the 
Party, Foreign Secretary 
(1830-34, 1835-41, 1846-51), 
Home Secretary (1852-55) 
and Prime Minister (1855-58 
and 1859-1865).— 101, 106, 
107, 108-12, 140, 172, 177, 
178, 193, 205, 206, 207, 224, 
232, 234, 235, 237-40, 245, 
246, 248, 249, 319. 

Parkes, Harry Smith (1828- 
1885) — English diplomat, as 
consul at Canton provoked 
Anglo-Chinese conflict which 
served as prologue to second 
Opium War with China (1856- 
58), consul at Shanghai 
(1864), consul in Japan (1865- 
83).— 94, 96, 97, 101, 111. 

Peel, Robert (1788-1850)— Eng- 
lish statesman, Tory, con- 
ducted policy of union with 
Liberal bourgeoisie, Home 
Secretary (1822-27, 1828- 
1830), Prime Minister (1841- 
46), with support of Liberals 
secured repeal of Corn Laws. 
—193, 236. 

Pindar (c. 522-442 B.C.)— lyric 
poet of ancient Greece. — 108, 
109, 268, 300. 

Pitt, William ("the younger 
Pitt") (1759-1806)— English 
politician and statesman, one 
of Tory leaders, Prime Minis- 
ter (1783-1801, 1804-1806).— 
47, 182, 204. 

Poerio, Carlo (1808-1867)— Ital- 
ian Liberal, took part in con- 
spiracy against Neapolitan 
Bourbons, during 1848 revolu- 
tion Minister in Naples; was 
imprisoned (1849-59); in 1859 
fled to Britain where he re- 
ceived grand welcome.— 257. 

Pollexfen, John (b. 1638?)— Eng- 
lish merchant and writer on 
economic problems, advo- 
cated abolition of East India 
Company monopoly. — 50. 

Potter, George (1832-1893)— 
English trade-unionist, found- 
er and editor of newspaper 
Bee Hive.— 325. 

Pottinger, Henry (1789-1856)— 
English diplomat and gen- 
eral, ambassador to China 
(1841-42) and commander of 
British troops during first 
Opium War with China 
(1842), Governor of Hongkong 
(1843) and of Madras (1847- 
54).— 119, 193,218. 

Prendergast, John Patrick 
(1808-1893)— English histo- 
rian, published a book on his- 
tory of Ireland in 1863. — 331. 


Raffles, Thomas Stamford 
(1781-1826)— English colonial 
administrator, Governor of 
Java (1811-16), author of The 
History of Java. — 33, 313. 


Rhodes, Cecil (1853-1902)— 
English politician, ideologist 
of imperialism and colonial- 
ism; organised seizure of 
large territory in South 
Africa by Englishmen; initia- 
tor of Anglo-Boer War of 
1899-1902.— 306. 

Ricardo, David (1772-1823)— 
English economist, one of big 
representatives of classical 
bourgeois political economy. 
—59, 60, 264, 267, 300. 

Richard III (1452-1485)— King 
of England (1483-85).— 25, 98, 

Rose, Hugh Henry (1801-1885) 
— English general, later — 
field-marshal, took part in 
Crimean War of 1854-56, one 
of suppressors of Indian na- 
tional revolt of 1857-59, was 
in command of troops in In- 
dia (1860-65), commander of 
armed forces in Ireland 
(1865-70).— 189. 

Russell, Henry (1751-1836)— 
English jurist, judge in India 
(1798-1813).— 74. 

Russell, John (1792-1878)— Eng- 
lish statesman, Whig leader, 
Prime Minister (1846-52, 
1865-66), Prime Minister 
(1846-52, 1865-66), Foreign 
Secretary (1852-53, 1859-65). 
—24, 27, 101, 206, 234. 

Russell, William Howard (1820- 
1907) — English journalist, war 
correspondent of The Times. 
—167, 169, 170, 186, 187. 

Sadler, Michael Thomas (1780- 
-1835) — English sociologist, 
opposed Malthus's theory, 
stood against Free Trade, 

member of House of Com- 
mons. — 277. 
Saltykov, Alexei Dmitriyevich, 
prince (1806-1859)— Russian 
traveller, writer and paint- 
er, travelled in India (1841- 
43 and 1845-46).— 88. 

Schiller, Friedrich (1759-1805) 
— great German poet and 
playwright. — 204. 

Senior, Nassau William (1790- 
1864) — English vulgar econ- 
omist, apologist of capital- 
ism.— 286. 

Seymour, Michael (1802-1887) 
— English admiral, took part 
in Crimean War of 1854-56, 
was in command of navy 
during second Opium War 
with China (1856-1858).— 
94, 96, 97. Ill, 115, 247, 

Shaftesbury, Anthony Ashley 
Cooper, earl (1801-1885)— 
English politician, big land- 
owner; in 1840's headed Par- 
liamentary group of philan- 
thropic Tories; Whig from 
1847.— 108. 

Shore, John Teignmouth (1751- 
1834)— English Governor- 
General of India (1793-98).— 

Sidmouth, Henry Addington, 
viscount (1757-1844)— English 
statesman, Tory, Prime Min- 
ister and Chancellor of the 
Exchequer (1801-1804), as 
Home Secretary (1812-1821) 
took repressive measures 
against working-class move- 
ment.— 112. 

Sindhia, Alijah Jivaji (Bagirat 
Rao) (b. 1835?)— Mahratta 
Prince of Gwalior; during In- 
dian national revolt of 1857- 
59 joined the British.— 138. 


Sleeman, William Henry (1788- 
1856)— English colonial offi- 
cial, officer, later general, 
resident at Gwalior (1843-48) 
and at Lucknow (1849-54). — 

Smith, Adam (1723-1790)— Eng- 
lish economist, a leading 
representative of classical 
bourgeois political economy. 
—264, 269, 301. 

Sorge, Friedrich Adolf (1828- 
1906) — German Marxist, out- 
standing figure of internation- 
al working-class movement. 

Spencer, Herbert (1820-1903)— 
English bourgeois philoso- 
pher and sociologist apologist 
of capitalism. — 60. 

Stanley, Edward Henry, Earl of 
Derby (1826-1893)— English 
statesman, first Tory, then 
Liberal, Secretary for Colo- 
nies (1858, 1882-85) and 
Secretary for India (1858-59), 
Foreign Secretary (1866-68, 
1874-78).— 40. 

Talandier, Pierre Theodore 
(1822-1890)— French petty- 
bourgeois Republican, took 
part in 1848 revolution; mem- 
ber of General Council of In- 
ternational (1865), later Ba- 
kuninist.— 335. 

Tao Kuang — Chinese Emperor 
(1821-50).— 121. 

Terbert, Michael (1834-1870)— 
Irish Fenian, sentenced to 
seven years' imprisonment in 
1866.-255, 256. 

Thackwell, Osbert (1837-1858) 
—English lieutenant, took 

part in suppressing Indian 
national revolt of 1857-59. — 
Timur (1336-1405)— Central 
Asian general and conquer- 
or.— 76. 

Tippoo Sahib (1749-1799)— Sul- 
tan of Mysore (1782-99); in 
1780's and 1790's waged wars 
against British expansion in 
India. — 48. 

Tsang — Prefect of Liuchow in 
1856.— 98. 

Tucker, Josiah (1712-1799)— 
English economist, predeces- 
sor of Adam Smith, advocate 
of Free Trade, stood for separ- 
ation of American colonies 
from metropolis. — 302. 


Valdes, Jeronimo (1784-1855)— 
Captain-General, Governor 
of Cuba (1841-43).— 194, 

Vicovitch — diplomatic agent of 
tsarist government. — 239. 

Victoria (1819-1901)— Queen of 
Great Britain (1837-1901).— 

Voltaire, FranQois Marie 
(Arouet) (1694-1778)— famous 
French philosopher, writer 
and historian; fought against 
absolutism and Catholicism. 


Wajid Ali Shah— King of Oudh 
(1842-56).— 175. 

Walker, William (1824-1860)— 
American adventurer, organ- 
ised several predatory expe- 


ditions of mercenary gangs 
against republics of Central 
and North America. In 1855 
proclaimed himself command- 
er-in-chief of Nicaraguan 

Republic and later (1856) its 
president. — 99. 

Ward, Henry George (1797- 
1860)— British colonial offi- 
cial, Lord High Commissioner 
of Ionian Islands (1849-55), 
Governor of Ceylon (1855-60) 
and Madras (I860).— 226, 

Warren, Charles (1798-1866)— 
English officer, general since 
1858; served in India (1816- 
19, 1830-38).— 86. 

Watson — English engineer, 

colonel, was in service of East 
India Company from 1764, 
designer of Calcutta docks 
in 1773.— 210. 

Wellesley, Richard Colley, mar- 
quis (1760-1842)— English 
statesman, Governor-General 
of India (1798-1805), Foreign 
Secretary (1809-12), Viceroy 
of Ireland (1821-28, 1833-34). 

Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, 
duke (1769-1852)— English 
soldier and statesman, Tory, 
Prime Minister (1828-30), 
Foreign Secretary (De- 
cember 1834-April 1835).— 

Wheeler — Vice-President of East 
India Company (1773-80).— 

Whitlock, George Cornish 
(1798-1868)— English general, 
was in service of East India 
Company from 1818, took 
part in suppressing Indian 
national revolt of 1857-59. — 

William III, Prince of Orange 
(1650-1702)— Stadtholder of 
Holland (1672-1702), King of 
England (1689-1702).— 44, 45, 

William IV (1765-1837)— King 
of England (1830-37).— 177. 

Wilson, Archdale (1803-1874)— 
English general, during the 
Indian national revolt com- 
manded troops which be- 
sieged and stormed Delhi 
(1857), and the artillery dur- 
ing the capture of Lucknow 
(1858).— 189. 

Wilson, Games (1805-1860)— 
English economist and polit- 
ician, Free Trader, founder 
and editor of The Economist, 
Whig, M.P., Financial Secret- 
ary of the Treasury (1853- 
1853).— 60, 218, 242. 

Windham, Charles (1810-1870) 
— English general who took 
part in Crimean War of 1854- 
-56, was in command of Brit- 
ish troops in Lahore (1857- 
-61), helped to put down In- 
dian national revolt of 1857- 
59.— 317. 

Witt, Jan de (1625-1672)— 
Dutch statesman and leader 
of Dutch bourgeoisie. — 

Wood, Charles (1800-1885)— 
English statesman, Whig, 
Chancellor of the Exchequer 
(1846-52), President of Board 
of Control (1852-55), First 
Lord of Admiralty (1855-58), 
Secretary of India (1859-66). 
—24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 

, 32, 33, 41, 62. 

Woodhouse, John (1826-1902) 
— English statesman, ambas- 
sador at St. Petersburg (1856- 
58), Viceroy of Ireland 


(1864-66), Lord Privy and Kwangsi provinces 

Seal (1868-70), Colonial (1852-57).— 94, 96, 97, 98, 

Secretary (1870-74, 1880-82). 115. 

—193. Young, John (1807-1876)— Eng- 

lish statesman, Tory, Secre- 
Y tary of State for Ireland 

(1852-55), Lord High 

Commissioner of Ionian 

Yeh Ming-shen (d. 1858)— Chi- Islands (1855-59).— 224, 

nese Governor of Kwangtung 226. 


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